Monster Zucchini — One More Time When Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better

published Jun 23, 2015
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(Image credit: Paul Joseph)

Brace yourself: zucchini are coming. But it doesn’t stop at the farmers markets. Home-grown zucchini have a reputation for growing to epic, monster-sized proportions. They have an equally massive wow-factor, that’s for sure.

But here’s the thing: These monster zucchini are totally impressive to look at, but they’re not really all that delicious.

This isn’t, of course, to say that you can’t eat these massive zucchini that grow in your garden or that you find at the farmers market. You absolutely can. Go ahead and stew, roast, or bake them. Just stay away from salads. These giant zucchini are impressive in size, but not in flavor.

(Image credit: UbjsP)

Small Zucchini Win the Blue Ribbon for Flavor

When it comes to zucchini, bigger isn’t necessarily better. In terms of pure flavor, small zucchini take the prize. There’s no contest. Small zucchini have a fresh, mild flavor, with a delicate texture and small seeds, while its monster-sized counterparts are flavorless – if not a little bitter — with large seeds and a higher water content, which makes for a pulpy texture. To get a better-flavored zucchini, stick with buying ones that are no larger than a standard-size flashlight.

Buy a better zucchini → The Best Way to Pick a Great Zucchini

The Best Ways to Use Small Zucchini

Whether they’re shaved into ribbons, cut into thin discs, or sliced into spears, small, delicate zucchini really shine when eaten raw in salads, along with dips, or even made into a dip. Because of their tough texture and lack of flavor, massive zucchini just don’t stand up here, like the smaller ones do. These giant veggies don’t have the power to be their best selves when uncooked, or only lightly cooked. Instead they benefit from longer cook times, like being stewed, roasted, and baked into bread.

Recipes to Make with Your Small Zucchini