Squash is America’s contribution to the world’s gastronomy. The pumpkin blossom is an integral part of Mexican cuisine and is pleasant to see, smell, and taste.
Mexicans serve it in soups as well as main dishes.
The most popular way to enjoy it is with quesadillas, a tortilla with various fillings. Pumpkin blossom quesadillas are everywhere, from food stalls to the largest and most famous restaurants in the country.
The flower is delicious. Mexicans enjoy its taste – and its bright orange color. Pumpkin blossom is often an ingredient in creative dishes that are meant to grab the attention of dinner.
“The pumpkin blossom is a colorful ingredient and adds a lot of flavor to Mexican food,” said Rodolfo Vázquez Figueroa, a graduate of Le Chef College in Boca del Río, Veracruz.
The pumpkin blossom is used in both street kitchens and haute cuisine. (Mexican government)
Eating pumpkin flowers is not a new trend.
The manuscripts of the ancient Mexicans show depictions of the flower. From these documents, historians know that pre-Hispanic people ate it before the arrival of the Spaniards. The Mexica in central Mexico used it as a textile dye, as did other flowers or insects.
Mexican farmers plant it year-round and can harvest it from May to October. It’s easy to find at market stalls or chain supermarkets. Mexicans consume everything – from the flower to the stem. You can enjoy it cooked or raw.
Pumpkin flowers are cooked the same day they are bought because they go bad quickly. “Because it has a very short life, people always have it fresh,” said Figueroa.
Pumpkin blossom also has a pleasant aroma. “If you cook it in a pan with a splash of oil, a few epazote leaves, and a pinch of salt, the scent will make your mouth water,” he said.
Squash is America’s contribution to the world’s gastronomy. (Mexican government)
“I usually have the pumpkin blossom in quesadillas or stuff it into chilirellenos and Manchego cheese,” said Javier Pichardo Moreno, a department store clerk in Mexico state.
When Mexicans cook it in stews, they use a lot of flowers because they become fewer as they cook. The price for a bouquet of five flowers ranges from 15 to 20 pesos ($ 0.75 to $ 1).
“People often eat pumpkin blossoms, as well as nopales, radishes and ricotta cheese, mostly at the food stalls on every corner,” Moreno said.
The pumpkin blossom is not only a delight for the senses, it is also nutritious. In addition to potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and folic acid, it contains vitamins C and B.
(Translated and edited by Gabriela Olmos; edited by Fern Siegel)
Flower Power: Squash Blossom Is A Sensory Experience first appeared in Zenger News.