A zucchini, also known as a courgette, is a squash that is similar in shape, size and color to a cucumber. Although a zucchini is technically a fruit it is treated as a vegetable for cooking purposes where it is mostly used in savoury dishes. Zucchini is a good source of potassium, vitamin A, folate and manganese while containing very few calories. This vegetable grows above ground on the zucchini plant, sometimes called a vine. The plant is also known for its male and female flowers, which are also edible. A zucchini is usually picked before it reaches 20 cm (8 in), but they can grow up to 1 m (3 ft) long). Let’s find out where the zucchini came from.
Where did zucchini originate from?
The plant from which the zucchini was cultivated originated in the Americas. However, it was originally cultivated in Italy long after the original plant had been taken to Europe. This most likely occurred sometime in the 19th century around the Italian city of Milan, but some claim this to have occurred as early as the 15th century. From here it spread to the rest of Europe and eventually to the world. It was introduced into the United States by Italian immigrants in the early 1920′s. It is still widely grown in Italy and in the United States as well as in China, India and Russia.
Did you know?
The earliest squash, which is an ancestor of the zucchini, is believed to be around 10,000 years old. The seeds from this squash were discovered in a cave in Mexico.