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Jun 1, 2010 10:10 PM

Ayote: Black squash - better than butternut

I had this for dinner tonight. It was extremely striking. The flesh is kelly green and it was somehow blackened in the cooking process ... it was supposed to be like that. Here are some photos I found on the web.

It was fabulous ... the taste was like a butternut squash on steroids ... intensly sweet and deeply flavored.

I'm not sure about the cooking process. It is a bit (heh) hot in this part Guatemala. I finally discovered we not only have a range top int the kitchen, but a stove that is used for storage. Too hot ... always ... to bake. However a broiler would not blacken it like that.

It was like it was cut open and thrown into a fire. Then again, looking at the first photo, it seems the area next to the seeds is black. Maybe it is just the squash fleesh, black on top and green underneat.

The second photo says it is made into candy for the Day of the Dead. This site also has a recipe for ayote empanadas for Dia de Los Muertos. I bet those turnovers taste really swell.

Anyone know more about this squash?

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  1. This looks similar to the calabaza (which just means pumpkin) aka West Indian or Green pumpkin, we get in Latino markets here. It's a winter squash variety that grows in the Caribbean and Central America; you may have seen it as well as the ayote. It's not ayote but it's related. I'm sure it has another Spanish or local Indian name, aside from the Caribbean designations:

    In Spanish:

    Ayote, note the green flesh:

    Nombre Científico:Curcubita mixta
    Tipo de Producto: Producto Agrícola
    Época: Enero a mayo

    Photo of Pupusas de Ayote, with eggs and cheese:

    Some of the winter squash varieties grown in your area there include tamalayota, ayote, auyama, zapallo, or yoko, have you heard of or seen any of those? Maybe other posters state side will know if ayote is imported. I've not seen it anywhere in NYC.

    3 Replies
    1. re: bushwickgirl

      Thanks for the links. I'm sure ayote is some generic name for squash as well. When I was asking about it last night, everyone else said 'ayote' and my husband kept saying 'calabeza'. I told him i KNEW it was squash, but this was different because of the striking green and black color. What type of squash was it?. Searching on ayote, I came up with lots of orange squash pictures but only two that looked like what we had for dinner last night.

      It is sort of like the English word squash which can mean pretty much anything from hubbard, to spaghetti to zuchinni to butternut.

      When my Spanish gets better I'll have to find out the variety.

      I haven't seen this particular type of squash in the US. Yes there are green--fleshed squash, but the flesh is light like that last photo. I said in the OP that the flesh was kelly green, but it seems more of a darker avocado ... and then there's the black part.

      I'm glad I never did find one of these in the US. Cutting it open I probbly would have screamed and thought it had gone very bad. However, now that I know it is supposed to look like that, I hope someplace does sell these. I guess I can't legally bring the seeds back in to the US so I can grow some myself otherwise I would

      1. re: rworange

        I hope this helps....
        Cucurbita ficifolia (Chilacayote ) |
        Jun 27, 2008 ... chilacayote, chiverre, fig-leaved gourd, malabar gourd or squash, shark fin melon ... Chilacayote (Cucurbita ficifolia) Seeds. Back to top ...

        1. re: mochapman

          but the description says the flesh is white...

    2. My wife makes great pumpkin pie with these. You have to close your eyes to eat it since
      it comes out greenish black but it tastes great.

      4 Replies
      1. re: paul balbin

        That must taste amazing. I'll bet she doesn't need much sugar as these are natrually very sweet.

        1. re: paul balbin

          Paul, wherever your wife buys the squash, do they call it "ayote"? What kind of market sells it?

          1. re: msmarm

            I'm really curious where you can find it also! My daughter just came back from a service trip to Honduras, and she loved it. I can't find it anywhere in the Portland, OR area! Thanks!

            1. re: msmarm

              Sorry to take so long to reply. She does not remember the name but I will try and find it out
              when we get back in November. I want some more pumpkin pie.....
              good luck
              Pablito el gordito