Both zucchini and yellow squash are technically summer squash, They have thin skins and tender flesh. They must be eaten or frozen within a few days of harvest to preserve their flavor and texture.
Here in Maine, we tend to refer to the yellow straight neck or crookneck squash as summer squash and simply refer to zucchini as zucchini. This works well until you visit a produce stand selling golden or yellow zucchini.
The question arises:
How do to tell yellow summer squash and yellow zucchini apart?
Yellow straight or crookneck summer squash are shaped differently than yellow or golden zucchini. The fruit is swollen on the blossom end and tapers to a narrow neck near the stem.
Yellow or golden zucchini is shaped like a green zucchini. The fruit is cylinder shaped and does not narrow at the stem end.
Do Yellow Summer Squash and Yellow Zucchini Taste the Same?
No. Golden or yellow zucchini does not have the nutty texture and flavor of yellow squash. It tastes more like traditional green zucchini, but tends to be sweeter and a bit softer than many green varieties.
Golden or yellow zucchini can be cooked or eaten the same way as yellow summer squash and can be substituted in recipes, but will produce subtle changes in the flavor and texture of the recipe.