Delicious, surprisingly long gourd from Sicily that is harvested 12” long or shorter and eaten like zucchini and used in delicious stews with tomatoes and potatoes. Vines grow up to 25’ (eat the leaves and tips!) and fruits can grow to 3’ or longer. Species originates in Africa.
Cucuzza is an elongated Sicilian bottle gourd that predates Zucchini in Italy. Bottle gourds are an African species that has been eaten in southern Italy since at least the first century, and Zucchini is an American species that is said to have arrived in southern Italy shortly after the beginning of European occupation of the so-called Americas in 1492. Zucchini is a plural, diminutive version of Zucca, which was first used to describe this here Cucuzza, a southern Italian interpretation of Cucurbita, the Roman Latin word for bottle gourds. (Courgette has a similar word lineage). This is a complete plant in that you can eat the young shoots, leaves, and tender fruits. Our Sicilian friend and Cucuzza advisor calls it both a delicacy and a poor people’s food, and adds that it makes a wonderful jam!
Our friend tells us the seeds can stay viable for years if left inside the dried out fruits - his dad kept some for 20 years like that, and then planted them successfully. Other varieties of this gourd species are used for musical instruments, bird houses, storage containers, bowls, and hiding places.
Days to maturity: 70-75
Seeds per pack: 30
Germination rate: 92% on 11/05/2021
Planting / harvesting notes
Seed keeping notes