Photo by Genevieve Russell for Squash Blossom Local Food Inc.

Squash blossom season is here! These sweet cheerful flowers are one of chefs’ favorite local delicacies to feature as an appetizer or in a summer entrée. With a subtle yet distinct flavor and light texture, they truly taste of sunshine. Most commonly, these are the flowers of the zucchini plant, but the flowers can also be used from any summer squash plant—or winter squash too! And this means a longer season for these scrumptious delights. There are both male and female flowers; it’s best to harvest the male and leave the female to fruit into squash. The blossoms open in the morning for pollinators to do their chores, and close back up by the heat of the afternoon. For best culinary use, harvest must be done in the early morning while the flowers are open, and they should be quickly stored in cool water or the refrigerator to remain open for preparation. It’s easy to imagine walking out to your garden and harvesting a handful of these happy flowers to eat for lunch or dinner, but how do chefs deal with the fragility of this ingredient when receiving shipments by the case and pallet-load from nationwide distributors? The answer is, they can’t. Squash blossoms can only be sourced locally. If you see them on a menu, you know the chef has a direct connection to the famer. Squash Blossom Local Food Inc. is the only distributor in New Mexico that can deliver these namesake flowers to restaurants in Santa Fe within hours of harvest!

We are able to give our chefs that direct connection to their farmers, while still offering bulk wholesale pricing and streamlined delivery. Squash Blossom Local Food works with dozens of small-scale family farms; we do all the sales, marketing, bookkeeping and distribution for them so that they have more time to work on the farm, while the chefs get the ordering and delivery service that they are accustomed to from larger companies. One delivery from Squash Blossom Local Food can feature products from 20 different farms in New Mexico, all within hours of when the food was still in the ground, or on the tree. That freshness is incomparable and you can taste it when you eat at a restaurant that sources from us.

“Getting deliveries from Squash Blossom Local Food is as easy and reliable as it gets, and true to their name, they feature the freshest and most properly stored squash blossoms possible.  We use them all over the menu; in Squash Blossom Pesto, Squash Blossom Butter Sauce, in our Yellow Gazpacho; and most popular is our Crispy Baked Stuffed Blossoms with local Goat Cheese and Ripe Tomato Basil Sauce.  Many people credit me with inventing the Squash Blossom Beignet; but that was in another life.  Besides, no-one invents food; we just find fun ways to prepare it. Squash Blossom Local Food is like a trip to the Farmers’s Market, brought directly to your door!”

Chef Matt Yohalem

Il Piatto Farmhouse & Kitchen

Photo by Genevieve Russell for Squash Blossom Local Food Inc.

Salvador Corona Sr., photographed above, grows thousands of squash blossoms for us each year, and now his sons Daniel and Salvador Jr. have taken over the farm and continue to grow us our namesake blossoms. Daniel says, “Picking the blossoms is always one of my favorite chores to do on the farm because there are so many, it’s overwhelming, it’s hard to stop picking them!”

This unparalleled local food is not only available to chefs, we also offer a weekly “Blossom Bag” subscription service in Santa Fe for the community. We are happy to provide the freshest, highest-quality, specialty local products that everyone loves. In addition to being the only distribution company able to deliver these delicate squash blossoms fresh from the farm the same day, we also see our business as the squash blossom compared to the industrialized food movement. We are small, fragile, only local, and the quality we stand for is beyond comparison. Your support for businesses like ours is so powerful. When you buy local you are keeping farmers like the Corona brothers in business, providing jobs to our employees, receiving more nutrients from your food, and moving New Mexico towards food sovereignty!

See for yourself, get $5 off your first Blossom Bag at squashblossomlocalfood.com by entering the code: EDIBLE–SUMMER at check-out.

Learn more at: www.squashblossomlocalfood.com

Nina Yozell-Epstein

Founder | Director, Squash Blossom Local Food Inc. 
☆ SANTA FE’S 2018 SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR ☆
– Your Local Farm Source –

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Edible celebrates New Mexico's food culture, season by season. We believe that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. With our high-quality, aesthetically pleasing and informative publication, we inspire readers to support and celebrate the growers, producers, chefs, beverage and food artisans, and other food professionals in our community.