Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: courgette from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Small variety of marrow, belonging to the gourd family. It is cultivated as a vegetable and harvested before it is fully mature, at 15–20 cm/6–8 in. (Cucurbita pepo, family Cucurbitaceae.)

In the USA and Canada it is known as a zucchini.

Summary Article: ZUCCHINI
From Cambridge World History of Food


Although winter squashes do not enjoy the popularity they once did, the same is not true for summer squashes, and especially not for the versatile zucchini. An American summer squash, the zucchini (Cucurbita pepo) bears an Italian name that is the diminutive of zucca, meaning “gourd.” As a rule, this vegetable has a smooth, shiny, green, very thin rind - reminiscent of that of its cousin, the cucumber. But the flesh is firmer. The zucchini also comes with a deep yellow skin - this is called a “golden zucchini” - and there is another variety called “Italian squash” or cocozelle. Zucchini goes well with tomato sauce and is worked into numerous main and side dishes. On its own it can be steamed, fried, boiled, broiled, simmered, stuffed, and eaten raw as an appetizer and in salads.

Common names and synonyms: Cocozelle, courgette, golden zucchini, Italian squash, vegetable marrow.

See in addition: “Squash,” Part II, Section C, Chapter 8.

© Cambridge University Press 2000

Related Articles

Full text Article ZUCCHINI
Cambridge World History of Food

( see also SQUASH AND PUMPKIN ) Although winter squashes do not enjoy the popularity they once did, the same is not true for summer...

Full text Article ZUCCHINI
Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink

Also “Italian squash.” A summer squash of the species Cucurbita pepo, which measures from four to six inches in length, has a smooth green skin, and

Full text Article vegetable marrow
The Oxford Companion to Food

a mainly British phenomenon. Specimens of the marrow/zucchini group of cultivars of the summer squash, Cucurbita pepo, are best eaten when young, as

See more from Credo