The recent history of summer squashes

ResearchBlogging.orgSo you’re telling me1 that sixteenth century Italian gardeners selected long, thin squashes from among those brought back to Europe from the Americas (actually two different places in the Americas) in conscious imitation of the bottle gourds they had used for centuries? And somehow kept them separate from other cucurbits so that they bred true? And that the word zucchini shifted to the former from a particular, Tuscan form of the latter in the 1840s? Which is 50 years earlier than originally thought? Oh boy, I think I’m going to need some help navigating through this. Fortunately, Jeremy had the bright idea to ask the authors for directions.

  1. Lust, T., & Paris, H. (2016). Italian horticultural and culinary records of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae) and emergence of the zucchini in 19th-century Milan. Annals of Botany, 118 (1), 53-69 DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcw080 []

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