BERKELEY (KCBS) – Winter squash has arrived on the market in full force this year. I couldn’t count how many different kinds Berkeley Bowl had spread out under a canopy outside the store the other day.

Farms in Brentwood and Hollister let customers pick their own pumpkins out in the field. Of course, there’s the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival. And the Pacific Coast Farmer’s Market Association has devoted its entire October newsletter to pumpkins.

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Lots of fun, sure, but how do you eat them? It all depends on the variety.

KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David:

Acorn squash, whether its dark brown, green, white or orange, is a nice basic variety that’s good to bake.

Butternut squash is great if you’re making a pumpkin pie and want to have something that peels easily.

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Delicata squash, also called Bohemian squash or peanut squash, has a nice creamy pulp.

Kabocha squash is my favorite because there’s just a little bit more richness, a little more sweetness. It’s really, really tasty.

Spaghetti squash is probably the most unusual of the varieties typically available this time of year. Steam it or bake it, then cut it open to scoop out the flesh. It comes out in long, narrow strands just like spaghetti. This is a no-brainer recipe for gluten-free pasta. And it’s delicious.

With all these choices, winter squash is really here.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades. You can hear him Saturdays at 10:53 a.m., 12:53 p.m. and 4:53 p.m., and at 2:53 a.m. Sunday on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

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