Garden has squash blossoms and I want to pick them to stuff and fry... Does taking off the flower affect the squash that will eventually blossom?
There are male and female blossoms; I am pretty sure it's the female ones that develop in to the squash, so you only want to pick the male ones for cooking with, but darned if I can remember at this hour how to tell them apart!!
I buy mine at the farmer's mkt sometimes with a baby zucchini already growing and attached to the end of the blossom. It makes a great handle for battering and frying! If no one else can help before I go again, I will try and ask the farmer there how to tell them apart.
Here's a picture that will help you distinguish between male and female squash blossoms. The male has a very thin stem beneath its flower. The female however, has a thick stem (which really isn't a stem at all but rather the beginnings of a zucchini) beneath its flower.
Good question! I have heard about frying them but have never had them. I will have to do some searches about about info/recipes because it sounds like fun and I think I have a bunch of male flowers that I could use. Thanks for the question Teraesa22 and thanks for the link Cheese Boy!
You can use either flower type for eating.
The female type is good because it has that little zucchini attached, but I honestly don't want to waste the zucchini all the time, so I usually go for the male flower.
I like to mix up some soft goat cheese, a little ricotta, and some wild fennel pollen and stuff that into the flowers before frying.