Field of Science

Standardized zucchini

Us scientists often have problems with less than precise instructions and let's face it, recipes are often a prime source of loosey-goosey instructions.  So when a recipe asks for you to grate a medium-sized zucchini, just how much zucchini is that anyways?  Now TPP has often seen and occasionally raised zucchini the size of naval destroyers.  Now if that's a big zucchini, then how big is a medium?  No mass, no size measurements, no means of determining how much zucchini the recipe really calls for.  Medium?  This is quite annoying.  Now in my general judgment a zucchini  that is 9-10 inches long and probably about 2 inches in diameter at its thickest part is a medium-sized zucchini.  The navy calls to put in dibs on any that are larger.  Nobody should let zucchini get any bigger than 9-10 inches, but sometimes they can grow from 6-7 inches to 9-10 inches in a matter of 2 hours or less.  How a fruit so big can hide from view also remains an interesting question.  But it would help a great deal if recipe authors would attempt to quantify their amounts a bit more.  Is it too much to ask for some zucchini standardization out there? 


nycguy said...

It's been tried.

Surely you've heard about the EU standards---the one for the amount of bending permitted in bananas, and the other one outlawing curved cucumbers.

They died long, drawn-out deaths from ridicule.

Unknown said...

What's wrong with a recipe written like this:
"..2 cups of grated zucchini.." or "..250 grams of grated zucchini.."
If the actual quantities are not too important insert approximately into these examples. I also find the idea of "medium" a bit too woolly to be useful.

Recipes tend to either give too much detail or not enough. Over here in metric land (Australia) we have standardized sizes for most of the common volume measures - 1 cup is 250ml, 1 teaspoon is 5 ml,
1 tablespoon is 20ml and so on. This can cause havoc with family hand-me-down recipes where "one cup" is the tea-cup from the wedding set with the broken handle that spent the rest of its life in the kitchen; but generally it works quite well!

Ciao, KK.