Zucchini is a member of the squash family and can be a delicious addition to almost any summer dish. If you have ever needed to select zucchini at a grocery store or produce stand, you should know how to determine if the zucchini is ripe. Whether you are an expert in the kitchen or just experimenting with new vegetables, learn what you should look for to know when a zucchini is ripe.
Things You'll Need
Look for a uniform green color encompassing the entire zucchini.
Look for zucchini that are 6 to 8 inches in length.
Select zucchini that is fairly firm and not too soft. It should feel slightly more flexible than a cucumber, but not by much. Avoid soft zucchinis because the softness is a sign they will be inedible very soon. Pick softer ones if you are planning to make zucchini bread, however.
Select zucchinis that have no bruising or marring. Like the more traditional squashes, zucchini will go bad very quickly once the skin has been broken.
Taste test several sizes of zucchini to see which you like best. Some people like smaller zucchini, while others like larger ones. If you are picking them from your garden, try a smaller one and a larger one and see which you like best. If you are selecting one at the grocery store, pick the largest ones you can find.
References and ResourcesLos Angeles Times: Zucchini: How to choose, store and prepare
Washington State University: When to Harvest Home Grown Vegetables