The History of Courgettes


The history of courgettes is a bit hazy, but it is believed to have originated in Mexico about seven thousand years ago.

Archaeologists traced the development of this fruit from the giant pumpkin between 7000 to 5500 BCE.  It is also believed to have been a part of the ancient pre-Columbian food trio: beans, maize and squash.  Until today, these foods—also called the “three sisters”—are still very much a part of Mexican cuisine.

From Mexico, it has been brought to the Mediterranean by Christopher Columbus during one of his crusades about 500 years ago.

Before the 20th century, courgette has not been a favorite in Europe or the United States.  But through Elizabeth David’s writings, the British came to know and appreciate this fruit of the squash family.

Courgette also found its way to Italy where it is now popularly called zucchino (little squash).  It is known in several names in different parts of the world—zucchini, marrow, squash—but it all points to the same fruit.

Currently, courgettes are widely recognized not just in the kitchen but also by home gardeners.

It is included in famous dishes such as ratatouille, in desserts and breads and can be cooked in a lot of different ways.

Gardeners love growing this fruit, too, because it is very productive—the more it is harvested, the more fruit it produces.