Types of Squash – Meet The Gourd Family

Have you seen the varieties of different pumpkins in store? Food Lover’s is the best in fresh for good reason.

Squash is technically a fruit. This is because it contains seeds and comes from the flowering part of plants. Other “fruits” that are treated like vegetables are cucumbers, eggplants, and tomatoes.

This family of Cucurbitaceae have many different varieties!  Let’s squash the questions you have about all pumpkins, butternuts, and the rest of the squash family.

Wait, what?! Did we just say Cucurbitaceae? Yes, you read correctly, we did.

So, your first question might be; ‘What is the Cucurbitaceae  family?

The Cucurbitaceae family (also referred to as the Gourd family), encompasses five different fruit crops; the melons, cucumbers, watermelons, squash, and pumpkins.

Let’s learn a little more about squash and pumpkins…

Squash variants

(most commonly sold in a Food Lover’s Market store)



These are one of the larger varieties and are rich in vitamin A and fibre. They have a sweet and earthy tast

Crown Pumpkin


Known for its grey/blue skin, and rich orange flesh. It has a mildly sweet flavour and a soft texture

Hubbard Squash


Hubbard Squash has a sweet flavour, and is high in vitamins A and C. It also has lots of fibre, and almost no fat.

Gem Squash


a.k.a a ‘skorsie’, These guys are a local favourite and are also known as “skorsies” in SA. They are low in cholesterol and are perfect for boiling or baking. We recommend stuffing them and grilling them. Try this recipe.

Butternut Squash


A firm kitchen favourite, found all year round, these bell-shaped squashes are packed with all sorts of nutrients and have a mild and sweet flavour. Available all year round, butternut is another extremely versatile ingredient! Other than the usual roasted butternut, salads, stuffed butternut, or soup, we’ve made a delish butternut pici pasta, or butternut nachos! Explore our butternut recipes here.

Zucchini & Patty Pans


Yes, zucchini (baby marrow or marrow) is a squash. You should try grilling these babies on the braai! Baby marrows are so versatile that lately they are made into a healthy ‘pasta’, or add to delicious baked goods! Try this chocolate zucchini bread recipe.

There are other variants that are not as commonly found in our stores (it depends on season and availability in an area)

Acorn Winter Squash:

A great ingredient for both sweet and savoury dishes. Even though it’s called a “winter squash”, Acorn squash belongs to the same family as all summer squashes. The acorn squash gets its name from its acorn-like shape.  If you do get your hands on one of

these, they are delicious when stuffed and baked.


Red Kuri Squash:

has a sweet and nutty flavour and fittingly, the word “Kuri” is Japanese for chestnut. Like many of its family members, it too is a good source of vitamin A.

What other fruit and vegetables are part of the squash family?

Did you know that melons and cucumbers are also part of the squash family?! This also includes zucchini!



Get to Food Lover’s Market and explore our amazing range of the best fresh produce in SA!