Pumpkin Flowers belong to Curcubitacee family, mainly from C. Moschata and Maxima. Zucchini flowers come from C. Pepo.
Pumpkin Flowers are not all the same: in fact, pumpkin produces both female and male flowers. The first ones, with a small rounded pistil inside, produce the fruit: the flower start growing and become the pumpkin. Male flowers develop on thin peduncles and don’t produce anything but the pistil covered with the pollen needed for the fertilization. When ripe, these flowers get yellow and are ready to be picked: they are the most used ones, so that female flowers can keep growing and producing fruits.
They give no nourishing contribution, being poor in calories, carbohidrates, lipids and proteins. Minerals are low too, except for iron, and they only contain C vitamin. Notwithstanding that, they are really tasty!
When you need to buy them, be careful: they must be equal and bright colored: discard limp and dark ones, they should keep the form. It doesn’t matter if they are opened or not, that does not influence the savor. Their pistil should be bright yellow, and never (!) brown, a sign of contagion from fungus or mold.
One more thing: before cooking them, remove the pistil, as it releases a bitter taste.
Pumpkin Flowers are very appreciated in ccoking, and can be used to make several different dishes: you can fry them (with or without batter), use them to make a sauce and season pasta or top pizza, stuff them…
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