Cucumber and zucchini are popular vegetables that are similar in appearance and botanical classification. But they differ significantly in taste, texture and culinary application.
Zucchini and cucumber are both members of the botanical family Cucurbitaceae, which includes melons, squashes and gourds. Both vegetables are biologically classified as fruits.
Melon vs. Squash
The cucumber is not particularly sweet, but it shares a genus with the cantaloupe and is botanically classified as a melon. The zucchini is a variety of summer squash and is of the same species as crookneck squash.
Cucumbers are light and contain more water than zucchini. Zucchini have a meatier, stringier texture.
Cucumbers are usually eaten raw or pickled and have little value as a cooked vegetable. The texture of zucchini makes it ideal for steaming, roasting or stir-frying.
Some varieties of zucchini may look strikingly similar to cucumbers; but the skin of zucchini tends to feel more leathery and may have flecks of white or gold. Zucchini also has hard, thick stems.
- ITIS Report: Cucumis sativus
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Juniper Russo, an eclectic autodidact, has been writing professionally since 2008. Her work has appeared in several online and print-based publications, including "Animal Wellness" magazine. Russo's primary writing interests include holistic health, natural living and animal care.