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Zucchini blossoms...

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?

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  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      Look --> http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=h...

      2 Replies
        1. re: Cheese Boy

          Thanks for the picture and easy explanation!

        2. 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!

          1. Just fry them in a tempura batter. We usually stuff ours with either ricotta and lemon or goat cheese, chives, or whatever. Delicious!

            2 Replies
            1. re: chefathome

              A friend of mine piped shrimp mousse into them and fried them in tempura batter at a dinner party at his house. It was one of the best things Ive ever eaten, Ive been hooked on zuch blossoms ever since!

              1. re: twyst

                That sounds wonderful! I have heard of it but have yet to try it myself. The textures would be amazing together.

            2. 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.

              1. I usually go for the male flowers as well - you can theoretically remove just the flower from the budding zucchini and not affect the fruit, but I've never been able to - I always end up ripping the blossom to shreds or snapping the baby zucchini.

                Don't wash the flowers after you harvest, but use a damp paper towel to wipe the insides out - ants love to hide in there. If you want to wash them before you eat, rinse the plant with a hose about an hour before you pick the flowers. Rinsing after harvest makes them mushy and/or rips them.

                9 Replies
                1. re: thursday

                  Good to know. I would have totally ruined them by washing them. Thanks all for the cooking ideas!

                  1. re: LadyGuise

                    I honestly cannot tell the difference between the male and female! It must be too early bc both stems look the same.. I guess I should wait but am afraid the blossom will just die?

                    1. re: Teraesa22

                      Cucurbits start producing male blossoms before the first female blossoms.

                      1. re: Eldon Kreider

                        Eldon-So all the flowers that I see are male and ok to pick?

                        1. re: Teraesa22

                          This blogger tells it best w/ close-ups and everything.

                          Look ---> http://www.mamasemptynest.com/?p=1873

                          1. re: Cheese Boy

                            Thanks for visiting my blog! My family looks forward to fried zucchini blossoms every year!

                          2. re: Teraesa22

                            Most likely - but don't pick all of them if you want any zucchini- the male pollen is how the females grow the fruit. (which I'm sure you know from biology 101, but I got overly zealous about my first ever blossoms, plucked them all, then couldn't figure out how I'd "killed" such a healthy looking plant. *facepalm*)

                            1. re: thursday

                              Yes... I usually start plucking blossoms once I'm sick if the ludicrous amounts of zucchini the plants produce. Once you've hit "zucchini pancakes" in your cookbook, it's time for blossoms.

                              Also, am I the only one who simply uses a dash of quality oil and sea salt? I like the toothsome quality of the blossom on its own.