How to select for best flavor:
Soft shell squash should be small to medium in size and the rind should be so soft a fingernail can easily puncture it. If you test this way, please buy the ones you puncture. Avoid wilted or shriveled-looking squash, as well as squash with soft spots or mold.
Peak of the season:
The largest variety and the best price will be available from June through August. Most of these squash are available all year, especially zucchini.
Summer squash are an excellent source of calcium, potassium and vitamin B complex. Their high water content make them an excellent balance for meals heavy in protein and carbohydrate. One cup of cooked squash contains about 35 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 mgs. of sodium.
Some of the varieties you will find are:
Zucchini — This is the most popular of the summer squash.They are long and cylindrical. The color can be either dark green or bright yellow. The small squash are very tender and tasty. Large, sometimes huge, squash are very good stuffed or baked into bread.
Crookneck — are bright yellow in color. The skin is shiny and smooth, sometimes with warts. These are excellent steamed or sautÃ©ed.
Patty pan — Kids call these flying saucers because of their shape. They are a pale green in color. The small ones have a very delicate flavor.
Sunburst — look like fat, bright-yellow patty pans. They also have a very good flavor.
Summer squash are very perishable and should be used right away or refrigerated up to three or four days.