I tell you what, I really do believe that zucchini is the cleverest vegetable out there. And here’s why. At first, zucchini seems so cool and versatile. I mean, it’s like a mix of a cucumber and a squash, so there are all these endless possibilities of what you can do with zucchini. You get a few from a friend who has a garden. It works its way into your heart and palette, so the next year, you think, I’m gonna plant a few zucchini in my own garden. And lo and behold, your zucchini plant takes over your entire life! As you all know, zucchini yields about 100 vegetables per plant. I’m not joking here. My grandparents’ neighbors have zucchini and we used to eat it with practically every meal because they kept giving us zucchini because they had too much.
Suddenly, you really have to process through zucchini’s endless possibilities because you have so stinkin much of it that you have to find some way to get rid of it all. Slowly, zucchini starts creeping its way into every single meal. Breakfast- zucchini bread and zucchini muffins; Lunch- zucchini fries with your soup and sandwich; Dinner- zucchini casserole or zucchini stew. Not that I’m complaining because I love all of those dishes, but really, zucchini gets itself into all kinds of crazy relationships with other foods.
My grandma is an ace with zucchini. She has about a hundred working zucchini recipes, no joke. I know this because not only have I eaten at least 50 of these recipes myself, but I’ve organized her recipe drawer and have seen with my own eyes all of these recipes. Currently, my grandma is busy making tons of zucchini dishes, not excluding zucchini chocolate cake and zucchini chocolate chip cookies, to stock up for the winter, because after a while, you forget how sick of it you were, and you find yourself missing its presence in your life.
When you live in the Midwest, zucchini is your best friend, but if you move outside those boundaries, zucchini doesn’t quite have the same flourishing power I think. So, Las Vegas is a relatively low zucchini zone I think. Here in Japan, zucchini is still in that new and exciting stage. The Japanese haven’t yet realized the major productive capability of zucchini yet. They still only use zucchini as a vegetable. They haven’t realized that Midwest mentality when faced with zucchini yet: “You planted two zucchini this year?? WHAT!! Are you kidding me? Who can we possibly pawn the zucchini off on? No one’s gonna want that much of it! Better pull out the zucchini cookbook.” The Japanese are still thinking, “Wow! This is such a great vegetable! It tastes good in so many dishes.”
Just give it some time Japan. You will realize that zucchini is an infestation that you will never rid yourself of! Much like Japanese beetles, the more you pick, the more they come back. Zucchini is indeed a very clever vegetable for its seductive powers and then pure staying power.