National Zucchini Day

August 8 is National Zucchini Day, also known as Sneak A Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. The idea for this holiday came from Philadelphia local radio and television personality Tom Roy. Zucchinis, or courgettes are popular to put in a garden because they grow so profusely. However, in spite of their looks, they are not vegetables. They are actually a type of summer squash, which makes them a fruit. I wouldn’t put them in a fruit salad, however! Zucchinis are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

According to Wikipedia, “Zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called ‘zucchini’ were developed in northern Italy in the second half of the 19th century.”

Philip Potempa of the Post-Tribune in Chicago gives a rule of thumb for how many zucchinis to plant. “One zucchini plant will yield enough for a family of four. Two plants, assure some leftover for additional family and friends. With three zucchini plants, you’ve got your entire street covered. And a garden or yard with five plants, all filled with blooms? Be ready to feed the entire block.” If you have overplanted your crop, it is time to bless your friends, family, and neighbors with the autumn harvest, or even better, donate to your local food pantry.

Zucchinis are very versatile, of course. You can bake them or fry them, or add them to soups, salads, and many other dishes. You can also turn them into zucchini bread or chocolate zucchini cake, which to my mind is the only possible way to eat zucchini. Zucchini can also be frozen, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed with the current harvest.

It is easy to find zucchini recipes online by simply typing that into a search engine. For example, for a bunch of them that run the gamut from healthy to sweet, you can go to Allrecipes.

So if you are a zucchini lover, today is your day to go crazy!

Quotes about zucchini

Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.–Jim Davis

The trouble is, you cannot grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt.–Dave Barry

When I pass a flowering zucchini plant in a garden, my heart skips a beat.–Gwyneth Paltrow

One’s own flowers and some of one’s own vegetables make acceptable, free, self-congratulatory gifts when visiting friends, though giving zucchini – or leaving it on the doorstep, ringing the bell, and running – is a social faux pas.–Barbara Holland

The first zucchini I ever saw I killed it with a hoe.–John Gould

Last night we had three small zucchini for dinner that were grown within fifty feet of our back door. I estimate they cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $371.49 each.–Andy Rooney

There is a tale… It tells of the days when a blight hung over our land. Nothing prospered. Nothing flourished. Not even zucchini would grow.–Cameron Dokey

Vegetables cooked for salads should always be on the crisp side, like those trays of zucchini and slender green beans and cauliflowerets in every trattoria in Venice, in the days when the Italians could eat correctly.–M. F. K. Fisher

One day we came home from some errands to find a grocery sack of [zucchini] hanging on our mailbox. The perpetrator, of course, was nowhere in sight … Garrison Keillor says July is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won’t put squash on the front seat. I used to think that was a joke.–Barbara Kingsolver

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