10.19.2010

Zucchini anyone?


We have been having some cooler weather in San Diego but my zucchini plant still thinks it is summer and is producing like mad. The eggplant has decided to take off as well. As a result, Frenchie has been pleased with all the Ratatouille I've been cooking for him!


The History of Zucchini

Summer squashes, as well a winter squashes, are native to the Americas and belong to the family of curcurbita. Archaeologists have traced their origins to Mexico, dating back from 7,000 to 5,500 BCE, when they were an integral part of the ancient diet of maize, beans, and squashes. That pre-Columbian food trio is still the mainstay of the Mexican cuisine and is known today as the "three sisters."

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. Many names have been given to this squash. The French call it courgette, a name that has been adopted by the English. The English also refer to a variety that is slightly larger and plumper as marrow.

The colonists of New England adopted the name squash, a word derived from several Native American words for the vegetable which meant "something eaten raw." George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were squash enthusiasts who even enjoyed growing them.

Zucchinis are considered the tender, sweet, immature fruit of the curcurbita pepo which is eaten in its entirety. If left on the vine or bush longer, the fruit becomes enormous, the seeds larger, tougher, and sometimes inedible, and the flavor less sweet. Cocozelle, a variety of zucchini that originated in Italy, is shorter, plumper, and striped. Today's farmers are developing hybrids that are a visual delight. Some are round, some are yellow, some a combination of green and yellow, and some are a cross between zucchini and the fluted patty pan squash.

15 comments:

Tracy said...

Wow, so pretty for a vegetable plant! I love zucchini, but we call it baby marrow here!

Barb said...

Very pretty and sounds like you have been cooking some yummy stuff....Barb

~ Julie ~ said...

What interesting info... thanks for sharing! Glad to see you're back in blog land. Oh, and the blossom photo on my blog is actually that of butternut squash but it seems to be identical doesn't it?

~Cheryl said...

Beautiful plant! These days I can't grow a zucchini to save me -- how weird is that? Patty pans: childhood memories!

Peer said...

Nydelige farger, vakkert

Fickle Cattle said...

I love zucchinis! ;-)

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You need the Crazy,don't you? said...

Nice Zucchini^^ I thought it was baby Pumpkin(LOL)

~Marcus K. said...

I love zucchini!!

Tulsa Courthouse said...

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Bea said...

Nancy you're back! I missed your blog so much... merci beaucoup ! A bientot Bea

Escort said...

Perfect. so pretty for a vegetable plant!!!

Escort said...

Beautiful plant!

Brookfield Homes said...

Gorgeous pics of the zucchini. The colors look so crisp and vivid

dominic said...

WOW! What a cool pic! Btw, SD is soooo gr8!!