If left to its own accord, the average zucchini would grow as big as a baseball bat. The biggest one recorded was 7 feet 10 inches long!
The zucchini or ayokonetl originated in the Americas, specifically Mesoamerica. Three centuries later, it was in Italy that the modern-day zucchini finally came to be, where it was dubbed zucchino (little squash). The French call it courgette, a name that has been adopted by the English. Britain and Ireland 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 which meant “something eaten raw.”
Mexico’s zucchini origins were an integral part of the ancient diet of maize, beans, and squashes. That pre-Columbian food trio is still the mainstay of Mexican cuisine and is known today as the “three sisters.” In Mexico, the zucchini flowers are often preferred over the fruit and are frequently cooked in soups or used for quesadillas.
While pumpkins and winter squash have been popular in the United States since the time of the Pilgrims, the most common squash grown today has only been popular in the US for the last 50 years. It is now grown by more gardeners than any other squash.
Zucchini squash is the favored jewel of all the summer squashes. Its flavor is light and sweet with flesh as delicate as a flower and texture that melts in the mouth. Zucchini’s many varieties offer countless opportunities in preparing a varied menu of colorful summer and fall dishes.
Recipe – Zucchini Fritters
3 cups unpeeled zucchini, yellow or green, grated (use large holes of food grater)
¾ cup chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. tahini
¼ cup green onions (include green portion), sliced
½ tsp. Himalayan salt
½ tsp. dill seed (not weed)
Whisk together lemon juice and tahini. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients including lemon juice/tahini combination. Allow mixture to sit for 15-20 minutes. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon mixture into skillet, using a spatula to flatten into a fritter shape. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Flip with a spatula, and cook another 2-4 minutes. If fritters are getting too brown, reduce heat to allow centers to cook more fully. Once golden brown and set, remove and serve immediately. Serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream. Delish!