Squash Blossoms

Fresh squash is only available a few short months out of the year, making the blossoms a delicacy.   Squash blossoms are the flowers produced by any number of fruiting vines such as zucchini, pumpkin, and other various types of squash. Squash are technically a fruit. The blossoms are either male, providing pollen,  or female, producing a fruit body (zucchini, pumpkin, etc...) and may even be found attached to a small young squash. Picking the male flowers is most common;  the female flowers will produce squash if left on the vine. If you find you have a bumper zucchini crop for example, picking the female flowers will help curtail your squash harvest.  Harvesting squash blossoms is a timely process and they don't have a long shelf life, so once acquired they must be used almost immediately.

Squash blossoms have a mild floral flavor and are very colorful.  They are most commonly battered and fried, but they can be stuffed with cheese, added raw to salads, baked, added to soups or pizzas.  They can be eaten raw although they exhibit much more flavor cooked.  Squash are popular in many ethnic cuisines, particularly in Mexico and the Mediterranean.

There is not much to write here except that these edible flowers are not only beautiful, but highly sought after, fragile and extremely perishable.  They can be difficulty to find, mostly available at farmers markets, as chefs will buy up the entire selection.  Consider yourself lucky if you have the opportunity to try them.