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Jul 18, 2005 07:52 PM

What is gray squash?

  • w

My husband came back from a potluck where he had a dish that had gray squash in it. He said it the pieces looked a bit like zucchini but tasted a lot better. (I love zucchini, he doesn't.) I've never heard of this vegetable. Any help??

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  1. I'm growing a squash that has a gray tint to it--forget it's name. (I'll find out the varietal if you need it.)

    1. Here in Phoenix, many markets, especially those that are geared to Latino shoppers, sell a squash that looks much like zucchini but is greenish-gray in color. I'm not sure what its name is, other than "Mexican Squash" or "Mexican Zucchini." In my experience, it tastes much the same as zucchini.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sarah C
        Hungry Celeste

        I have a packet of seeds for a variety of zucchini called "GreyZini"--I haven't grown them before, but the packet description sounds exactly what you're describing. It's too hot in south LA for zucchini now; I'll have to wait until September to find out.

        1. re: Sarah C

          And then there is calabacita, a tastier summer squash commonly used in Mexican and indigenous cuisines. Nothing beats a good calabacitas burrito: it's a good sign that you are in a real folk place if you see squash on the menu like that.

          1. re: Karl S.
            Eldon Kreider

            Calabacita (also spelled calabazita) is common in Mexican markets in Chicago year round. It looks like a somewhat grayish green zucchini except for having larger diameter near the blossom end. Gray zucchini also exist but have the nearly cylindrical bodies common to other zucchini varieties. We tend to use calabacita and zucchini interchangeably depending upon price and quality. I don't think the calabacita we get have much more flavor than zucchini. Both don't have a lot of flavor and so are very dependent on preparation. My gut feeling is that the in-type flavor variation is greater than the between-type flavor variation among these summer squash. Cultivars may be more important than type for flavor, but you won't find that labeling in the supermarket. Farmers market, maybe.

            1. re: Eldon Kreider

              Here in Tucson, Arizona, calabacitas is a dish made with either zucchini or Mexican gray squash, onions, green chiles, corn, tomato optional, and cheese. I prefer longhorn but cheddar is good too. This dish is very good.

        2. As noted gray squash is also called Mexican squash. It has similar size and character as zucchini. I prefer it, trying to pick the smallest ones (about 3" long). I think the skin is thinner, and it is less likely to be bitter (but I still taste and test).

          If it is fresh, without any bitterness, I like to use it raw in a salad, drawing inspiration from a vegetable 'carpaccio' recipe on chow. I mix olive oil, salt and vinegar on a plate, and artfully arrange thin gray squash slices on top. And depending on what's available, add fennel, bit of onion, pine nuts, roasted bell pepper, etc on top.

          I also like to sautee it with onion, and finish with lime juice and cilantro.