April 25, 2012

National Zucchini Bread Day

"Bread deals with living things, with giving life, with growth, with the seed, the grain that nurtures. It is not coincidence that we say bread is the staff of life." - Lionel Poilane

It's National Zucchini Bread Day!

When I told my friends that I made zucchini bread, their gut reactions were to ask, "Did you put chocolate in it?" I hesitated for a moment trying to feel out what the right answer was. People are so particular about their fruit/veggie quick breads and whether or not chocolate, or some kind of nut, belongs in them. Banana bread, for example, absolutely should have chocolate chips in it. Zucchini bread though? Call me a purist, but when I cut into it all I wanna see are the green shreds of vegetable (because, this way I'm fooled into believing that I'm actually doing something good for my body by eating it - gotta get those servings of F&V in, after all!).

"I did not put chocolate in it," I responded hesitantly.

"Well then, I'm not interested. Who would be?!" They turned their noses up at my offer snobbishly and went about their business.

. . . nobody turns food down from the Steffasaurus; are they crazy?!

Zucchini Bread is thought to have become popular in the U.S. in the 1960's and 70's. Like carrot cake, it was promoted as a healthier alternative to standard desserts. Maybe that's true and maybe that isn't, but zucchini is an excellent source of lutein (helps the ole' peepers keep peepin') and it's also a naturally cholesterol-free. Sounds good to me!

Now, the history of quick breads in general is a little fuzzy, but they most likely weren't developed until the 18th century after the discovery of "pearlash" (the first real leavening agent). And the actual vegetable of zucchini as we know didn't really exist until the next century when it was the result of a mutated squash plant that originated in Italy. Once it made it's way stateside, the plant grew very, very well. So well, that both farmers and home growers eventually had an overabundance of it. And what do you do when have leftovers?

You get real creative real fast.

And now you're all the wiser, foodies.

Happy National Zucchini Bread Day!