I was intrigued the first time I saw zucchini in a European market (Cours Saleya in Nice). Next to the green vegetable so commonplace in North American kitchens was a smaller version sprouting a yellow bloom and I could only imagine how it would taste.
|Zucchini Blossoms at the Cours Saleya Market, Nice|
Christopher Columbus brought squash seeds to Europe from the Americas and the variety we know today as zucchini originated in Italy.
|Statue of Christopher Columbus, Santa Margherita Ligure|
Italian cooks serve zucchini blossoms, fiori di zucca, dipped in a batter and deep-fried until crispy. Sometimes they're stuffed with cheese. While dining in Florence my daughter and I finished off a whole plate of fresh, delicate zucchini flowers (well, it was mostly me).
|Deep Fried Zucchini Blossoms|
The sunny yellow blooms are so pretty. I couldn’t stop taking pictures wherever I spotted them brightening up a market. And I still can’t decide how I prefer my zucchini – as a beautiful fresh blossom or a tender cooked vegetable.
|Zucchini in Venice|
|Zucchini in Verona|
And the letter Z brings us to the end of another A-Z Challenge. Next month I’ll continue with my regular series of posts about my trip to Italy, picking up in the Northern Lakes at Lago Maggiore before heading east to Verona and Venice.
To everyone who followed along with me through Italy from A to Z this month – grazie mille!