Zuchetta Serpente di Sicilia - Serpent of Sicily. Sometimes called cucuzzi. Actually it is a gourd (it has white flowers rather than yellow like squash), but is grown and eaten like a summer squash. Much favored by people from Southern Italy. Fruit can grow up to three feet long, but tastes best when picked young, no more than 12 inches. Vigorous grower with long vines so leave plenty of room. Vines can easily run 25 feet; does well on a terrace. Pinch the growing tips of the vines and saute them in olive oil; they are very tasty that way. Plant in hills about six feet apart, four seeds per hill and thin to two or three plants. About 70-75 days. 6 gram packet, approximately 40 seeds.
Posted by Croquetman on 13th Oct 2012
If too much is never a bad thing, then cucuzzi are just the ticket. I planted 3 seeds at the end of a trellis (15 feet long) near a stand of corn. Those three tiny seeds produced vines that today have overwhelmed that trellis and most of the finished corn stalks as well. And fruit?!?!? We have so much. This is like zucchini on steroids. What is needed is unique family heritage recipes for this unique (and wonderful) vegetable. How about a cucuzzi cookbook?
Posted by David in Nice, France on 11th Oct 2012
This plant is the Calabash - oldest cultivated plant in the world and originally (and still) used for water containers not food. Those who are sensitive (paranoid?) about such things might be interested to know that it contains toxic cucurbitacins - but not in serious quantities - as of course do things like cucumbers. Perhaps not a good idea to eat mature plants.
And by the way it it cucuzza for one and cucuzze for several (plural female noun)
Posted by Margaret in NY on 22nd Mar 2012
This is the Sicilian squash known as cucuzzi. They have a delicate flavor which is unmatched. If you let them, as I sometimes have, they will grow to be very close to 6 feet long!!! The vines are stupendous, and they have delicate white flowers! Fun to grow & better to eat!