1. in britain, they have the exotic-sounding name of 'courgettes,' but Americans give the yellow variety a very plain name. The green ones, though, have an Italian flair.
2. You can munch them just after they sprout, pick the pods when they're halfway grown, or wait until they're fully ripe.
3. One rarely sees this plant in bloom, because we eat the bulb. It first grew wild in southwestern Asia, but now it's popular throughout the world.
4. It began as a wild cabbage in coastal Europe. The Italians domesticated it 2,000 years ago, but it wasn't popular in America until the 1900s. The tiny green buds will open into bright yellow flowers if you don't pick them.
5. Ancient Greeks and Romans grew this, but their varieties were tough, thin, and used for medicine. The French developed types that were good to eat. By the 1200s, this vegetable was common in Europe.
6. It is the most important crop grown in the United States. But 7,000 years ago, its seed head was a puny one inch long and it had only 50 or 60 seeds -far from the 'a-maize-ing' size it is now.
7. Change the 'c' to a 't,' and it's a proud horse; add 'rap,' and suddenly it's a mischiefmaker. But it's really a young relative of the item in Photo 3.
8. It's a humble vegetable with a swash-buckling history - maybe. The green variety may have been taken to Europe by Celtic warriors who invaded the Near East in pre-Christian times and found it growing there.
9. The pungent taste tells you it's related to mustard. We're used to seeing them small and red, but some varieties are black, white, purple, yellow, or pink, and others weigh up to 10 pounds.
(1) summer squash, zucchini;(2) green beans; (3) onion; (4) broccoli; (5) carrots; (6) corn; (7) scallions; (8) red cabbage; (9) radishes.
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society