In October 2022, Michigan farmer Derek Ruthrouff won the Guinness World Record for the heaviest butternut squash, when he presented a specimen that weighed just over 47 kilograms. That’s about the volume I consumed three weeks later, without winning any prizes.
The squash was first cultivated more than 8,000 years ago in Mexico and Peru, but it is to a resident of Massachusetts that we owe the butternut variety, obtained in the middle of the 20th century. Butternut squash has a lamp-shaped body and flesh the color of American cheese, and when properly prepared, it tastes like pumpkin but sweeter and more concentrated, with a hint of hazelnut.
What could be sweeter in winter than a perfectly cooked butternut squash, with a sweet, full and creamy flavour. A good butternut squash can be a revelation. It can transform your day. I know this, because three weeks after Ruthrouff won this prestigious award – and achieved international fame – for helping to optimize the caliber of butternut squash, I dropped two whole slabs of roasted squash on the floor of my living room and on my (bare) feet.
In summary: this culinary experience did not earn me a trophy, but I gained on the battlefield (in this case my home, where the squash left more or less decorative traces) a hard-won knowledge . I’ve even discovered that a succulent bite of butternut squash eases all ailments – including the anger of finding a little squash on your toe after meticulously washing your feet. But let’s get to the heart of the matter:
I cooked eight equally sized butternut squashes, about 1 kilogram each. Suffice to say that my husband looked at the counter of the…