Squashes are four species
of the genus Cucurbita, also called pumpkins and marrows depending
on variety or the nationality of the speaker. Squashes are categorized
as summer squash or winter squash, depending on when they are
harvested. Compare Gourds. Summer squashes, including young vegetable
marrows (such as zucchini [also known as courgette], pattypan
and yellow crookneck) are harvested during the summer, while the
skin is still tender and the fruit relatively small. They are
consumed almost immediately and require little or no cooking.
(such as hubbard, Buttercup squash, acorn, vegetable spaghetti
and pumpkin) are harvested at the end of summer, generally cured
to further harden the skin, and stored in a cool place for eating
later. They generally require longer cooking time than summer
squashes. (Note: Although the term winter squash is used here
to differentiate from summer squash, it is also commonly used
to mean only those of the maxima species.) Squash is native to
North America and was one of the "Three Sisters" planted
by Native Americans. The Three Sisters were the three main indigenous
plants used for agriculture: maize (corn), beans, and squash.
These were usually planted together, with the cornstalk providing
support for the climbing beans, and shade for the squash. The
squash vines provided groundcover to limit weeds. Besides the
fruits, squash seeds, blossoms, and tendrils are also edible.
The blossoms are an important part of native american cooking
and are also used in many other parts of the world.
Above Images Come From The U.S.D.A.