- head butt
In Italian the word zucca is a widely used synonym for head, hence outside Sicily a zuccata is what happens when you knock your head against something or someone, voluntarily or by accident. The most famous zuccata in recent history is the one French soccer player Zidane gave to Italian player Materazzi during the final game of the 2006 World Championship, which the Italian team won.
- candied zucca
Zucca maintains also its original reference to various types of squash. It is the word from which zucchini derived. The history of squash (both summer and winter) in Italy is very interesting, but rather convoluted: suffice here to say that the presence of plenty of zucche inspired Sicilians to make creative use of them, like cooking them in sugar to make zuccata. The zucca used for this purpose is of the species Lagenaria siceraria, known also to the ancient Romans, who carved it to make bottles for storing wine. Zuccata is used in Sicilian pastries, among them, the famous cassata.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the zuccata audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]