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Zucchini squash has a uniformly cylindrical shape with little to no taper from its stem to blossom end. It can be harvested when it is at its baby stage or when more mature at up to 20 centimeters long. Many growers and chefs note that Zucchini will be at its peak flavor and texture when approximately 15 centimeters in length. The exterior glossy skin of the Zucchini is vibrant to dark green in color and delicate enough to consume. Summer squash such as Zucchini are harvested when immature for best flavor, as a result their skin is delicate and prone to easily bruising and scratching. Its flesh is creamy white in color with a spongy yet firm texture and faint traces of edible seeds. It offers a sweet summer squash flavor with nuances of black peppercorn and nutty undertones. In addition to the fruit of the Zucchini plant the flower blossoms of Zucchini are also edible and offer a mild, squash-like flavor.
Zucchini is available year-round with a peak season in the summer.
Zucchini is a classic summer squash and botanically a member of Cucurbita pepo. Today it is easily the most popularly grown and consumed of all summer squashes. There are numerous Zucchini varieties on the market today with independent names and characteristics. Zucchini can also be harvested at varying stages of maturity, when petite and at its baby stage of growth or when slightly more mature and medium sized. Fully mature Zucchini that are large with hardened skin have not developed much of a place in the commercial marketplace as their flavor and texture at this stage are not preferable for culinary applications. In the culinary context, Zucchini is treated as a vegetable. Botanically, however, the Zucchini is identified as the swollen fruit that stems from the female Zucchini flower.