I'm sure it comes from the depression era, when all produce from the garden was consumed in one form or another. Within my family, we consider fried pumpkin blooms a delicacy. (mine are just emerging, which is what triggered this post) You can also fry Zuccini, and squash blooms as well. You need to gather them early in the day while they are open, and soak in salt water to remove most of the bugs. (hey what's a little extra protein anyway) After a while, maybe overnight, drain & roll in egg and flour and fry. (grandma used bacon grease for everything) Try 'em...
My pumpkins are raised expressly for this purpose, although with grandkids, I let a few mature for halloween..
Now you know my roots...ole country boy... hehe