I am a big fan of zucchini. Such a versatile little vegetable that can be eaten in so many ways! Usually when I buy zukes, I get lazy amd make them the easiest way for me to handle: slicing them into half-circles and stir-frying them with some teriyaki sauce. They get cooked, I get fed, and with minimal effort on my part. But when I get really fresh or baby zucchini my favorite thing to do is bread them and pan fry (I very, very rarely deep fry anything) to make homemade zucchini sticks. They’re just like French fries, only healthier! (And everyone knows how I love French fries.) But the way that you really wouldn’t expect to have zucchinis is as the base for a bread. I know, right?! But zucchini bread is very popular as a savory dish served year-round. It’s got to be; it has its very own national food holiday! While the history of zucchini bread is unknown, it’s rumored to have been created in the 19th century, probably in the United States (as squash are native to North America and zucchini in particular were first bred in Italy). It’s basically your typical bread recipe, complete with baking soda, flour, eggs, and your binder (butter or oil), but you also add grated or shredded zucchini to the mix, making it a savory yet mild bread that has fibrous umph and a lot of nutrition baked into it to boot. It’s certainly something to try, either in your own kitchen or fresh from someone else’s!
And the “someone else” you should be hitting up for zucchini bread is your local cafe. And I don’t mean that in the general sense. Local Cafe on Sullivan Street is a great, family-owned alternative to the Starbuckses in the NYU area, serving fresh, hearty food, coffee, and tons of breakfast goodies to snack on–including zucchini bread. They focus on the “local” part of their name here, sourcing their ingredients from the local area and keeping their staff, their profits, and their attention all right on their block. And the attention to quality is definitely appreciated by their patrons, who like the friendly staff and great menu items. Skip the frappuccino for once and try something simple, hearty, and just plain good for breakfast–a Local Cafe coffee and a slice of zucchini bread. You won’t be disappointed!
144 Sullivan St, Ste B (between Houston St & Prince St)
Some reviews from Yelp.com:
“Their iced teas are really good, i used to get a breakfast iced tea with milk, 2x a day, every time I was working.
They messed up like 3 times and gave me the wrong kind of tea. I brought it back every time, and every time they gave me a cookie 🙂 :3 I would recommend to a friend, their small slices of zucchini bread or lemon loaf are also good.”–Alexa M.
“With a new Starbucks opening soon on Houston and Broadway, locals and SoHo visitors need to walk only a few extra steps to Local, a great little cafe located on trendy but quiet Sullivan Street (between Houston and Prince). The owner Craig is a great guy with a lovely family you’ll often find hanging out at the cafe. The vibe is friendly, welcoming, and truly local. In addition to hot and cold coffees, Local offers freshly made sandwiches. The feta and green pepper on semolina bread is a classic example of simple perfection. Same for the fig and ham. The locally made sweets, including a tasty zucchini bread, are crowd pleasers. Go Local, say no to national chains!”–James S.
Make sure you check out the updated NYC Food Holidays Map to find this most recent holiday!