Squash Blossom, Squash Flower

Cucurbita pepo

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Including baby squash with blossoms

Pretty as they are, these sunny blooms are more than “mere” flowers. They are flavorful, fleshy vegetables that can play a substantial role at the summer table, not just a decorative walk-on.

Almost any member of the squash genus (Cucurbita), whether a summer or winter type, produces edible flowers; but zucchini, which proliferate madly, are a usual source in the United States. Because this is the case, it is curious that North Americans needed Mediterranean menus to direct them to their own backyard. Despite home gardens overflowing with blossoms and a long culinary history in Mexico and the Southwest, we seem to have discovered the charms of squash flowers in French and Italian restaurants.