Cucuzza squash is a long type of summer vegetable that is indigenous to Italy. Also called Italian squash, the cucuzza is at its best form when it is light green in color, and it is firm in texture. If you are purchasing the squash locally, then you can find the best quality during the summer months when the vegetable grows at its finest. Cucuzza squash might also be available year-round in some supermarkets due to exports from other countries. You might consider selecting organic Italian squash for the ultimate healthy vegetable.
This type of vegetable gets its name from the Italian word cucuzza, which translates to “super long squash” in English. Cucuzza squash is thin, and it can even grow up to 3 feet (0.91 meters) in length. This kind of summer squash is known for its sweet taste, and it is often cooked as a side dish with herbs, or utilized in stew and stir-fry. Some Italian bread recipes also utilize small cut pieces of the cucuzza in order to add texture and taste.
Although cucuzza squash is historically used in Italian recipes, the versatility of the vegetable has led to worldwide popularity and use of the food. Even if this summer squash is widely available in your region, it is important that you carefully select the cucuzza that is at its ripest. The best cucuzza squash should be entirely light green in color—any yellow spots are indicative of a spoiled vegetable. It should also be firm in texture without any bruised spots.
The cucuzza is widely available in farmer’s markets in Italy and in other regions in which the squash is grown locally. Such vendors are known for having some of the best tasting vegetables, but it is important to bear in mind that this type of squash is grown during the summer. You will likely find plenty of cucuzza squash from vendors during the summer months, but, if a farmer sells it during the winter, then the product might not be fresh. If you purchase the summer squash from a grocery store, you might find that it is available during the off-season because of various exports of the vegetable.
Organic cucuzza squash is not as widely available in some areas, but it is the best choice if you prefer foods that are not harvested with pesticides and herbicides. If a grocery store claims to have organic versions of the squash, then there should be some form of certification labeled on the vegetable. Also, keep in mind that cucuzza squash sold at a farmer’s market is not necessarily organic, so it is important to ask the vendor.