Certified Farmers Market Fresh Pick of the week: Summer Squash
Locally-raised fresh Summer Squash
is available from several farmers at the market in a variety of shapes and sizes. This versatile fruit (that’s right – although we all think of Squash as a vegetable, it’s technically a fruit!) is one of America’s favorite side dishes, and although we mostly consume the fruit (harvested while the rinds are still tender), every part of the Squash plant is edible (including the female blossoms, with tiny fruit attached, which are a delicacy when dipped in a batter and fried).
Squash of all varieties grow throughout the Americas (where they were first domesticated), and have been a staple for people living in the Americas throughout recorded history. They were introduced to Europeans during the time of European colonization and have now become a favorite there, and throughout the world. Most varieties are available year-round, but the tender locally-raised Summer Squash varieties are especially good when harvested while they are small and tender. Most of the elongated varieties are best when they are 2 inches or less in diameter and 6 to 8 inches long. Patty Pan types should be harvested when they are 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
Did you know:
All Squash varieties are members of the Gourd family, which also includes Pumpkins.
Price: $1.50 per pound and up