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The delicate flavor, soft shell and creamy white flesh of summer squash is a perfect addition to any summer meal. While especially plentiful in the U.S. marketplace during the summer months, summer squash is actually available through the year. Summer squashes, members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber, come in many different varieties.
While each variety may have a distinct shape, color, size and flavor, all varieties share some common characteristics. Regardless of variety, all parts of summer squash are edible, including the flesh, seeds and skin. Some varieties of squash also produce edible flowers. Unlike winter squash, summer squash are more fragile and cannot be stored for long periods of time unless frozen. For Native Americans, squashes were considered as one of the “three sisters” along with corn (maize) and beans.
Summer squash varieties include zucchini, yellow squash, and patty pan squash.