Winter squash

It's high time for winter squash, and there's a cornucopia of eye-catching varieties to choose from. (Andre J. Jackson/Detroit Free Press/MCT)

Store squash in a cool and dry place and, Andres says, they'll keep a couple of months if they have been carefully harvested and have no damaged skin.

"Store them in a back room in your house that's between 45 and 55 degrees," he says, adding that they should be kept on a shelf or rack so there is good air flow.

Squash varieties at the market

Here's the scoop on some squash varieties you might find at your local stores and markets. These squash are mainly hard-skinned.

Small and round; shaped like an acorn with dark green skin. Some have orange spots; others are all orange. The flesh is yellow and mildly sweet. You can stuff and bake it or cut it into rings and roast.

Has dark-green skin, sometimes accented with lighter green streaks. It is mildly sweet and great for roasting and stuffing.

Has smooth beige skin and is shaped like a bell. It has a small seed cavity and bright orange flesh. Butternut is a common squash for soup because it tends not to be stringy.

Similar to buttercup in shape and size, but with orange skin. The flesh is bright orange and very sweet. Peel it, cube the flesh and roast it and serve like cut-up sweet potatoes.

Sweet dumpling:
Has cream-colored skin with green specks. It is very sweet and needs little seasoning. It's best baked or roasted.

Similar in shape, but bigger, than sweet dumpling squash. The skin is a creamy color either with orange or green spots. It has a thick skin and golden flesh. Use it for soup or to stuff.

Has edible beige skin with dark green streaks. The flesh is creamy and sweet. It is best baked or steamed.

Has blue skin and is very heavy and hard to cut. If you can, have the folks in produce cut it for you -- or drop it on cement to break it apart. It has a savory-sweet flavor and is best roasted. You can also use the flesh for pie.