The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat courgettes. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.
What courgette etiquette is
Courgette etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat courgettes. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve courgettes to your guests appropriately.
As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat courgettes at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.
What you should know about courgette
Courgette is a type of summer squash that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. It is a popular vegetable in many cuisines around the world.
Courgette has a long cylindrical shape, with smooth and slightly glossy skin. The color can vary from light to dark green, and the flesh is white or pale yellow. The texture is firm but tender, and the flavor is mild and slightly sweet.
Etiquette rules to serve and eat courgettes
1) How to store courgettes
The ideal temperature to store courgette is around 12-15°C (54-59°F). In the pantry, courgettes can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. In the fridge, it can last for up to 5 days. To freeze courgettes, blanch them first and then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 8 months.
Sliced or cooked courgette should be stored in the fridge and consumed within 3-4 days.
2) How to clean courgettes
To clean courgettes, rinse it under running water and use a vegetable brush to remove any dirt or debris. There are no significant risks associated with cleaning courgettes.
Signs that courgette has turned bad include mold, mushy texture, and a sour or unpleasant smell.
3) How to prepare & cook courgettes
Courgettes can be eaten raw or cooked. To prepare courgettes for cooking, they can be sliced, diced, grated, or spiralized. The most common ways to cook courgette are sautéing, grilling, roasting, and stir-frying. Utensils such as a sharp knife, cutting board, and frying pan are commonly used to prepare courgette.
Popular dishes with courgette include ratatouille, courgette bread, courgette fritters, stuffed courgette, and grilled courgette.
Courgettes can be used in salads and sandwiches, and can also be prepared in unique ways such as zucchini juice, zucchini smoothies, zucchini jam, and zucchini pickles. Courgette is suitable for vegan, keto, and paleo diets.
4) How to serve & present courgettes
Courgette is appropriate for both formal and informal meals. You can serve as a side dish, main course, appetizer, or even dessert. It is also suitable for breakfast, brunch, and snacks.
You can serve courgettes on a plate or in a bowl. Serving tools such as a fork, knife, and spoon are appropriate. The ideal serving temperature for courgette is warm, but you can also serve it cold.
Serve courgettes with seasonings and accompaniments such as garlic, lemon, herbs, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese.
5) Food and wine to pair courgettes with
Courgette pairs well with flavors such as garlic, lemon, and herbs such as thyme and basil. It also goes well with other vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, and peppers. Fruits that pair well with courgette include lemon, lime, and pineapple. It is not recommended to pair courgettes with starchy vegetables such as potatoes or sweet potatoes.
Courgette goes well with a variety of meats, including chicken, pork, and beef. It also pairs well with fish, especially white fish such as cod and halibut. It is best to avoid pairing courgettes with game meats such as venison.
Courgette pairs well with a variety of wine and beverage options. For red wine, light-bodied and fruit-forward options such as Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, and Chianti are good choices. Avoid heavy and tannic red wines. For white wine, crisp and dry options such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and Chardonnay work well. Avoid oaky and buttery white wines. Rosé wine, sparkling wine, and light beers are also good options. Spirits and dessert wines may be too heavy for courgette.
6) How to eat courgettes
Eat courgettes with a fork or spoon, depending on how it is prepared. It is not polite to eat it with your fingers unless it is finger food. When eating cooked courgette, it is polite to cut it into bite-sized pieces before eating. The peel of courgette is edible, but some people prefer to remove it.
Courgette etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the most common courgette etiquette mistakes:
- 6/10. Serving courgette with inappropriate seasonings or accompaniments.
- 6/10. Serving courgette undercooked or overcooked.
- 6/10. Using the wrong utensils or plates to serve courgette.
Additional information for properly serving courgettes
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly plan a menu.
Courgette contains approximately 17 calories per 100 grams or 33 calories per medium-sized courgette.
How to buy the best courgettes
A crucial factor in courgette etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.
Season and availability
Courgette is generally available all year round, but the peak season is from June to late August.
Choose the best
The most common ways to find courgette in commerce are fresh, canned, and frozen. Fresh courgettes can be found in supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and specialty stores. Canned and frozen courgettes can be found in most supermarkets.
The most popular varieties of courgette in commerce are the standard green courgette, yellow courgette, and round courgette. The most prized variety of courgettes is the Italian heirloom variety, the Costata Romanesco.
When buying courgettes, look for firm, smooth, and unblemished skin. The stem should be green and fresh-looking. The courgette should be heavy for its size and feel solid. Avoid courgettes that are soft, wrinkled, or have brown spots.
Alternatives to courgette
- Fascinating facts and figures: courgettes: rhs.org.uk