Who Needs Zucchini? White Scallop Squash is Divine

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photo white squash

Photo by Jeff Quattrone

I’ve never been a fan of zucchini. I won’t plant them in my garden, but this year, a volunteer showed to grow right inside my fence. I let it stay because when a random plant shows up on  it’s on, nature’s providing you with a gift. I do like a lot about the zucchini plant. The large scale of the leaves. Squash blooms of any variety sure are pretty, and very tasty from what I’m told. Zucchini are QUITE abundant. They requires little care, and when left to grow to full size, the fruit can resemble the club Bam Bam carries in The Flintstones.

As a matter of fact, while growing up, my bothers and I used to let them grow like that so we could have make shift sword fights with them. We had so many of them, that we ran out of things to do with them. They don’t freeze well, and there were just so many jars of zucchini relish that my Mom could can for our family to eat. Let’s face it, relish is not a entree.

In my experience, rabbits won’t touch them. Think about that. A hungry animal in the wild won’t risk the ire of the garden owner to eat. That’s quite a statement.

There are so many other options of squash. There are more winter squash varieties than summer varieties, but to grow anything but zucchini, generally, you need to start them from seeds. This year, I chose to go with some other options. One option is the White Scalloped Squash, considered a summer variety. I’ve seen references that date this plant back to 1500s. The Native Americans were growing them when the Europeans showed up. If a plant is grown by Native Americans, to me, that’s a worthy endorsement.

Since they are a Native American variety, I thought they would work well for my attempt at a three sisters planting. The three sisters is a Native American interplanting technique that combines corn, squash and beans. You can see an example here.

The corn never grew, but the the White Scalloped Squash and the Dragon Tongue Beans did. The beans are future post. I direct sowed the seeds. I didn’t have much luck with that this year. Going forward, I’m will germinate all my plants from seed and transplant to the garden.

The White Scalloped Squash plant is not as large, or broad as zucchini. It does vine, but not in the traditional sense where vines shoot out from a central source. The whole plant grows out together as one vine. The flowers are standard squash blooms. My experience this year is they are not as proficient as zucchini. Thankfully. I did have a couple early fruits rot as the blossom died, but overall,I like this squash a lot. They survived the awful heat this, and I have some more on the vine at the end of July, while the time of the zucchini has passed.

I like shape, the color of the skin is more like a light green than a pure white, and the texture is firm. The texture remains while cooking, and they have very little seeds. Keeping them under 3-4 inches is suggested from others who have grown this variety, and that’s what I did. They have subtle, sweet and slightly nutty flavor.

I sliced them, dipped them in chick pea flour, and fried them. Delicious. They saute well, and overall a winner for me. Now, I can grow a squash that I can savor instead of dread, which is important.

 

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