A popular summer squash, ranging in color from dark to light green with a bit of mottling. The flesh is white with a light and delicate flavor. Zucchini is cylindrical but irregular, and is often 4 to 8 inches in length, but can be found very small or homegrown at lengths up to 2 feet and 6 inches in diameter. Many explorers who came to the Americas brought back what they considered strange foods. The zucchini eventually found its way to Italy where it was named zucchino. Inhabitants of Central and South America have been eating zucchini for several thousand years, but the zucchini we know today is a variety of summer squash developed in Italy. The word zucchini comes from the Italian zucchino, meaning a small squash. The term squash comes from the Indian skutasquash meaning "green thing eaten green." Christopher Columbus originally brought seeds to the Mediterranean region and Africa. The French term for zucchini is courgette, often used interchangably for yellow squash as well. Although the term summer squash can mean a variety of different squashes depending on whom you are speaking with, you can pretty much use the different summer squash varieties interchangably. The English also refer to a variety that is slightly larger and plumper as marrow.

Plural: Zucchinis

Season: May - September

How to select: Smaller zucchini will be younger and more tender. Select skins free of blemishes and with a bright color.

Matches well with: basil, bread crumbs, butter, cayenne, cheese, cilantro, cream, dill, eggplant, garlic, lemon, marjoram, mushrooms, olive oil, onions, oregano, parsley, pesto, pine nuts, rosemary, sage, salmon, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar, walnuts

Popular Zucchini Recipes