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National Zucchini Day

Zucchini, celebrated today with National Zucchini Day, is a summer squash with a thin, dark, or light green skin. There also is the golden zucchini, a deep yellow or orange hybrid. The lineage of zucchini, like all squash, starts in America, but zucchini was developed in Italy in the second half of the nineteenth century. Cucurbits were introduced to Italy in the sixteenth century, and the zucchini developed from them. In fact, the name "zucchini" comes from the Italian word for squash: zucca. Zucchini was introduced to the United States in the 1920s, likely being brought there by Italian immigrants.

Zucchini is low in calories, having about 25 on average. They are a good source of folate, potassium, and provitamin A, and help fight cancer and heart disease. The best-tasting zucchini are small or medium-sized, approximately 6 to 10 inches in length. Although, they can grow up to almost 40 inches. In fact, the largest ever, as of 2014, was 99 inches and was grown in Niagara Falls, Canada. Zucchini is usually cooked when eaten, and there are many different ways this can be done. They can be grilled, steamed, boiled, stuffed and baked, barbecued, fried, put in other recipes, and more. They are often used to make bread or cake.

How to Observe National Zucchini Day

If you don't have any zucchini in your garden and no one sneaks any onto your porch, you could go out and buy some so you can cook or bake something. Here are some recipe ideas:

You could also look for restaurants offering specials on zucchini dishes today. For some celebrations, Noodles & Company has offered zucchini noodles—Zoodles—at no extra cost and debuted new zucchini dishes in the day's honor. They have even changed their name to Zoodles & Company on the day! Once you have had your fill of zucchini, you could plan a trip to the upcoming Obetz Zucchini Festival, which takes place in Ohio.

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