It can be tough to convince people to try zucchini bread. It’s not the most common dessert in the world, and as a rather generic-looking brown loaf, it isn’t all that visually appealing. Plus, people aren’t usually keen on desserts that contain vegetables. “Broccoli cake? My favorite! Thanks mom and dad!” said no one, ever. I guess there’s carrot cake, but it’s not as if that’s the number one bestselling cake in America. It’s no yellow-cake-with-chocolate-icing, for instance.
“Is there only a little bit of zucchini in it, or something?” my cousin asked hesitantly at last summer’s family barbecue. Well, no. There’s exactly 11 ounces of zucchini in zucchini bread. I know, because I’ve made it about a million times. But (and this is what I tell the naysayers) there is also a whole pound of sugar in it. A pound! 1 lb. However, this, too, provides little motivation in the face of those little green flecks.
The flecks. People can never get past the flecks of green in the otherwise pristine field of moist, cake-y, cinnamon-speckled goodness. So I start to hope that they don’t notice them. “Try some of this cinnamon cake,” I tell the same cousin, as I shove a chunk of zucchini bread into his pie-hole. Sure enough, his eyes light up as he chews and swallows. He proceeds to grab the rest of the slice out of my hands and walk away nomming. Another convert.
Because once you actually succeed in getting someone to try zucchini bread, that’s what they are. It’s miraculous. Oh, I haven’t actually said this yet, but zucchini bread is really, really good. The zucchini adds a perfect, chewy moisture to which other breads and cinnamon cakes just don’t come close. It’s got a subtle crunch from halved pecans, front-and-center sweetness that’s tempered by cinnamon and a hint of salt, and a really lovely caramel-brown body that’s quite striking – thanks to those little green flecks.
Try zucchini bread. Forget about the flecks, because they don’t matter. In fact, sometimes they’re the best part of the bread, and the bread would be nothing without them. The point is, you’ll never know until you try. And the other moral of the story, obviously, is that a pound of sugar never hurts.