Carnival squash is a relatively new variety, being a hybrid of the sweet dumpling and acorn squash and is sought after for its uniquely patterned and colored exterior. The color variance in the rind is the result of seasonal temperature variations with warmer temperatures producing squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes.
Carnival squash is best suited for cooked applications such as steaming, boiling, roasting, and sautéing, and it can be used in the same applications as other orange-flesh winter squashes such as butternut, acorn, and kabocha. Carnival squash can be roasted whole, cut in half or into pieces, and blended to become soup, sauce, added to stews, risottos, curries, or pasta dishes. The squash can also be utilized as an edible vessel as its size often lends itself to healthy, individual serving portions and the seeds can be roasted as a snack. Carnival squash is best highlighted when prepared with the addition of butter and spices such as ginger, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pepper. It pairs well with pork, lamb, sausage, other roasted winter vegetables, maple syrup, toasted walnuts and pecans, sage, apples, pepitas, red chard, and aged cheeses such as pecorino. It will keep up to a month when stored uncut in a cool and dark place. Sliced pieces can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator up to five days.