The calabaza, also know as the green pumpkin and West Indian pumpkin, is a popular squash variety that is grown throughout the Caribbean and in Central and South America. The calabaza is round and can range in size from as large as a watermelon to as small as a cantaloupe. It’s skin color ranges from green to pale tan to light red-orange. Its flesh is a brilliant orange and has a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash.
You can purchase calabazas year round in some supermarket chains and in specialty fruit and vegetable markets. Be sure to select a calabaza that has a heavy feel to it. Because the calabaza is a squash, it can be used in many different vegetable recipes such as in soups, pies, stews and even as a side dish. Calabaza is not only a versatile and tasty squash, but it is nutritious as well. Approximately ½ a cup contains only 35 calories and is a good source of the vitamins A and C. So the next time you’re in the supermarket and you see the word calabaza, don’t just walk on by. Pick one up and give it a try.