Cucurbita moschata L.

Harvested unripe, it can also e left in the vine to ripen into a winter squash. Softer than a zucchini, there is no need to remove its skin or seeds before cooking. When harvested young, it can be eaten raw, either grated or finely sliced, in salads, salsas and dips. In Brazil, it is often used in sautéed dishes, soufflés and fillings for salgadinhos (Brazilian snacks), savory pies and cakes, pizzas, turnovers and empanadas. As for cooking methods, nothing can compromise its flavor and texture. It is good breaded and fried, boiled, baked, grilled, steamed, stuffed and even char- broiled. It can also be used in sweet preparations, especially cakes. Both cousa squash and zucchini belong to the gourd family, but they are distinct species: Cucurbita moschata, for cousa, and Cucurbita pepo, for zucchini. They also differ in shape. Cousa squash has one of the ends rounded, and is light green in color; zucchini is more cylindrical and slender, with a darker green color.