Zucchinis or courgettesZucchini or courgette is a plant of the Cucurbitaceae family and it is also the edible fruit of this plant. In the Paleolithic (9000 to 10,000 years before our era) wild gourds, ancestors of the courgette were eaten by nomadic gatherers in Central America, between Mexico and Guatemala. They will be gradually domesticated there.

In the Neolithic, the squash was disseminated to the north and the south. Varieties with more flesh and a more fruity flavor are developed. Until the 15th century, it was cultivated by the Aztecs, Incas and Mayas to such an extent that the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors its cultivation was widespread.

In the 16th century, the Spaniards imported them to Europe and cultivated them as a vegetables. It is quickly adopted in Africa or Asia where it symbolizes abundance and fertility.

It is the Italians who will cultivate a brilliant watery variety before full maturity to make it the zucchini we eat today.

Its date of introduction in Martinique is unknown. It is not known whether the zucchini was found there via the arrival of the Arawaks and then the Caribbean or afterward by European settlers.


Zucchini plantThere are a large number of courgettes but only 15 dominate the market and are thus more easily found on our plates.

In Martinique, it is the varieties Aceste, Leda, Ambassador, Sensation, Greyzini and Greyzucchini that we find.

Zucchini is a vegetable plant that grows on the ground. It has large leaves and flowers of yellow colors which give the fruit also called courgette. It is grown in a vegetable patch or a greenhouse, depending on the production method.

It contains 62% water and 38% organic matter.

Zucchini is an elongated or round fruit, green or yellow. It looks like a big cucumber.

Zucchini requires deep, light, fresh soils rich in organic matter as well as plots sheltered from the wind.

Health benefits

Zucchinis with  piecesThe zucchini is the food that allows you to have the best shape. Indeed, it has very few calories but a high density of vitamins, fibers and minerals.

Very digestible, it is suitable for everyone, even toddlers.

Zucchini contains rutin, a component that has some antioxidant activity in vitro that can protect against bad cholesterol.

Its lutein, which accumulates in the macula and retina of the eye, protects it from oxidative stress that could cause damage.

Boiled, it is a source of phosphorus that helps maintain healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus also participates in the growth and regeneration of tissues.


Zucchini gratinZucchini is used as a vegetable although it is a fruit in the botanical sense of the term because it contains the seeds of the plant.

Zucchini is eaten cooked or raw as you would eat a cucumber. It is also eaten well boiled, sautéed, fried, stuffed, in gratin  (opposite picture) or soup. In metropolitan France, it is part of the composition of ratatouille.

In Martinique, zucchini is rather discreet in the main and traditional dishes of the island. Despite everything, it remains consumed in a salad, gratin or other for its many health benefits.