Where is the food staple squash native to?
From its wild origins in Central America and Mexico to the hundreds of different varieties grown around the world today, the squash family includes some of the largest and most diverse fruits in the plant kingdom and is a significant source of food for many cultures. The ancestral species of the genus 'Cucurbita' were present in the Americas before the arrival of humans, and are native to the New World. The likely center of origin is southern Mexico, spreading south through what is now known as Mesoamerica, on into South America, and north to what is now the southwestern United States.
Variety in colour, texture, size, and taste make squash a versatile vegetable that can be prepared in many different ways – baked, pureed, roasted, fried or even dried.
Squash is prized for its nutrition, with high levels of vitamins A and C, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. Squash can also be stored for long periods of time. In fact some thicker skinned varieties can keep for months without spoiling.
While most people consider squashes a vegetable they are botanically speaking a fruit.
Squash flowers are entirely edible and are eaten fresh as well as fried, steamed, baked, and stuffed with filling.