Immigrants brought zucchini to Europe in the 17th century. Zucchini belong to the "pumpkin family", and the name is derived from the Italian term "Zucca", meaning pumpkin. This vegetable comes in different shapes and colours. It is usually harvested when half-ripe. The skin of tiny, hard zucchini is more delicate and softer at this point and can be stored cool for around ten days. The larger they are, the less flavourful they tend to be. Depending on the growing conditions and particularly if they are stored for too long, bitter substances can form, which are very unhealthy in higher concentrations. That is why it is best to always try a slice of zucchini before using it. If the taste is unusually bitter, it should not be eaten. Bitter zucchini can spoil an entire meal.