No time this week for finding a crazy adventure – too much work I’m afraid. But I hadn’t had an unusual food for a while, so I decided to quickly find a bizarre food item to eat. I sat at the table, trying to figure out this item, and a ghost squash that I had bought for a Fall/Halloween table decoration was right in front of me. It took me a second to make the connection, but I did, and although it looks oh-not-so-edible, desperate times call for desperate measures. A quick web search – and, yes, apparently one cooks ghost squash like other winter squash, i.e., it is edible.
I should add that you shouldn’t trust what I write here about the taste of ghost squash completely, because I’m temporarily on a medicine that has taken away most of my ability to taste sugar. I can still taste most other flavors, it’s just cookies, candy, chocolate, baked goods, etc. all taste like the flavoring, not the sugar. I can’t even taste fake sugar. I’ve been promised that my sweet tooth will come back once the medicine stops, but that leftover Halloween candy still calls me – and I’m always quite disappointed by the results.
Yes, this is a bizarre side effect of medication. I would not be happy about it except that this may be the first holiday season in a decade where I won’t gain weight.
Anyway, it’s a little unfair to be doing this taste test of ghost squash right now, but such is this week; no time for anything else! Besides, I was curious about the flavor without the sugar. So…..
First, I roasted it in a little olive oil – hmmm, not bad, tastes like acorn squash, wait, ugh, ack, pffftt. It had a really strange taste near the end that made me spit it out.
Thinking maybe the bitter receptors on my tongue were not being swamped out by the sugar receptors as normal, I went ahead and cooked up the ghost squash with a lot of maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, some green onions, salt and pepper, and sprinkled some cranberries on top. Excellent – it didn’t taste sweet at all, but it had a lot of flavor. Too bad it was other flavor on top of the squash. But no sign of the weird taste, and now it is edible.
An interesting experiment. I look forward next year to having a bit more time and carving this squash with a ghost face.
Fyi, this squash is also affectionately referred to on the internet as the Pacman ghost squash.