Every parent has sneaky ways in which they craftily trick their unsuspecting children into eating vegetables. Spaghetti sauce is the first one that springs to mind, but have you tried zucchini bread? One doesn’t have to look far to discover the versatile squash in a bevy of sweet creations.
Blessed with a delicate flavour, the zucchini has the ability to always find a way of adapting to its fellow ingredients to help deliver the goods. Disguised with the likes of lemon, blueberries, carrots, and even chocolate, it can be found in cakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, scones, and soufflés.
Like almost every other squash we know and love, zucchinis originated in Mesoamerica, the same historical region that gave the world corn and tomatoes. Differing from cucumbers, zucchinis are treated as vegetables and generally cooked or baked, however, botanically speaking they are actually fruits and there’s nothing stopping a person from eating them raw, either sliced or shredded in something like a delicious Thai or Vietnamese salad. But like we said, generally, they are cooked and the bigger the zucchini, the more suited to baking in bread it is. Interestingly, when it is older and more fully grown, the zucchini is referred to as a marrow. Staying on the topic of names, another one it goes by in Francophone regions, the UK, South Africa and parts of Asia, is courgette, from “gourd” or “marrow.”
If you’re interested in world records, the record for the largest marrow is currently held by British gardener, William Gibbs, who managed in one year to grow a beast in his North West Leicestershire garden. The marrow weighed a whopping 128 pounds or 58 kilograms… That’s as heavy as a Bullmastiff or a Great Pyrenees dog! To quickly run some numbers, that translates to over 100 zucchini loaves of bread. Gibbs is still viewed as a master grower but was apparently forced into retirement two years later when his crop was sabotaged by a rival grower. It is said that he has shifted his focus to gladioli flowers now.
If that story doesn’t make you hungry for that special bread, I don’t know what will. Being National Zucchini Bread Day, here are some places to secure yourself a slice: