Tag: what is summer squash
You may be asking, what is summer squash? Summer squash is one of two kinds of gourds, the other being winter squash. While both can be found on the market at various times of year, the term summer squash refers to tender varieties that can be grown in warm, frost-free seasons and are harvested before the rind hardens and the fruit matures.
Summer squash is also known as a vegetable or Italian marrow. Rather than a vegetable, it is actually a “pepo,” a type of hard-walled berry, just like cucumbers and watermelon.
Unlike winter squash, summer squash has a fairly short shelf life. This fact points to the origination of the summer description, which dates to a time before refrigeration and modern methods used for food preservation when the seasons dictated which foods were available.
You’ll become expert in raising chickens when you download our FREE handbook, Best Backyard Chickens: Facts about Chickens, Best Chickens for Eggs, Raising Meat Chicken Breeds, What to Feed Chickens & Easy Chicken Coops to Build.
Summer squash grows on bush-type plants that do not spread like the vine-type plants of fall and winter squash and pumpkin. A few healthy and well-maintained plants produce abundant yields.
Summer squash develop very rapidly after pollination, and should be harvested when small and tender for best quality. Most elongated varieties are picked when they are two inches or less in diameter and six to eight inches long. Pattypan types are harvested when they are three to four inches in diameter.
There are hundreds of varieties of summer squash, ranging from dark green to bright yellow, long to stubby, smooth to lumpy to ridged. The common types of summer squash are yellow (crookneck or straight neck), zucchini (green or yellow, long or round) and the pattypan scallop squash. Another popular variety is the tromboncino or zucchetta, unusual among summer squash as being a vining plant. The plants are similar, with a shrub-like growth habit and fuzzy leaves that makes skin itch.
Squash are low in calories (15 per half-cup), and yellow squash contain the phytochemical lutein, which has been shown in several studies to decrease the likelihood of macular degeneration.