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In search of Cushaw for Thanksgiving?

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I'm very excited to host Thanksgiving out here in San Francisco for about 10 guests this year, including some friends and their parents from Louisiana.

Ever eager to learn new culinary customs, I asked my friend if there were any regional favorites that her parents might appreciate on the table. Her answer was that at every family gathering, everyone always seemed to serve "Cushaw" as a side dish, baked with lots of butter & sugar.

Well, heck. I love anything baked with lots of butter & sugar, but I never heard of this "Cushaw" before. I Googled it and was able to find mentions of "Cushaw" and "Kershaw" mainly in the South & Midwest. It appears to be striped with a long neck:
http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbc...

Does anyone know if it has a another alias? I can't seem to find it in California. I figure any sweet squash like butternut or delicata can substitute, but I'm determined to be as authentic as possible.

TIA!

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  1. They are in short supply here, too. They don't appear much in stores, you just have to know someone who grows it.

    1. It's closer to pumpkin, I find, than to a butternut squash. I don't think I've ever seen one for sale in the supermarket, just at roadside vendors. Sometimes the same places selling Halloween pumpkins also have cushaws. Maybe you could do some candied yams instead...another LA favorite baked with lots of butter & sugar.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Hungry Celeste

        Thank you so much for the tips. The Bay Area 'hounds, as much as they usually post, were silent on this one. Instead of reverting to yams as a standby, maybe a sugar pumpkin would do?

        1. re: foodiegrl

          Here's a link to the Slow Food Ark's info on cushaws...has some great info on taste, texture, as well as photos. http://www.slowfoodusa.org/ark/cushaw...

          1. re: Hungry Celeste

            That was really interesting Celeste.

        2. re: Hungry Celeste

          I saw them at Dorignac's a few months ago. For $10 apiece. Decided to pass.

          1. re: JGrey

            They were really cheap at the market. That was a few weeks ago.