Ayote is a Central American black squash—it has black skin and striking kelly green flesh that blackens during the cooking process. It’s better than butternut squash, says rworange. The flavor is like butternut squash on steroids, she says—intensely sweet and deeply flavored.

It’s not common in the United States. “I’m glad I never did find one of these in the U.S.,” says rworange. “Cutting it open I probably 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.”

paul balbin likes them, too. “My wife makes great pumpkin pie with these,” he says. “You have to close your eyes to eat it since it comes out greenish black but it tastes great.”

Discuss: Ayote: Black squash – better than butternut

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