Pumpkins are one of America’s most popular crops. They are deeply ingrained in our culture. What makes the great pumpkin so special? Well, Chuck – read on to find out!
- Pumpkins are thought to have originated in North America. Pumpkin-related seeds found in Mexico have been dated to 7000-5500 B.C.. They are now grown almost anywhere around the world.
- Antarctica is the only continent on which pumpkins can not grow.
- There are 800 pumpkin varieties, of which “only” around 200 are edible. Not only the amount of variety is impressive – the pumpkin family is a multi colored one: white, yellow, green, spotted, striped. The shape is also flexible: Pumpkins can be round, pear shaped or onion shaped.
- All pumpkins are winter squash. The largest varieties can weigh over 2,000 pounds, though the ones we typically buy come in at a more manageable 6-18 pounds..
- When buying a pumpkin, make sure it still has a its stem. A pumpkin with a removed stem may no longer be edible. The pumpkin should be heavier than it looks. Knock on it: If it sounds hollow it’s ripe.
- Probably the most popular use for pumpkins doesn’t involve eating them. A tradition believed to have originated in Ireland, making a Jack O’Lantern is now connected to the harvest season and specifically Halloween. The inside flesh is scooped out, the pumpkin has a more or less scary face carved into it and a light source placed inside to create the lantern effect. Rinse the inside of your hollow pumpkin with vinegar and spray the outside with hairspray to avoid mold.
- Morton, Illionis is the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world. The pumpkin processing plant located there is responsible for over 90% of canned pumpkin consumed in the US. A festival celebrating all things pumpkin has been held annually since 1966.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte was originally created to evoke the spices used in a pumpkin pie, not the taste of pumpkin itself. Introduced in 2003, the famous coffee chain’s original mix contained real pumpkin for the first time in 2015.
- It takes about 35 pumpkins to get one liter of pumpkin seed oil. This specialty from Austria and Slovenia is good for you: It lowers cholesterol levels and contains vitamins A, E and K.
- Pumpkins can be stored in cool, dry and dark places for several weeks . After a pumpkin has been cut into, you need to keep it in the refrigerator where they’ll last up to 30 days.
Pumpkins can be stored in cool, dry and dark places for several weeks . After a pumpkin has been cut into, you need to keep it in the refrigerator where they’ll last up to 30 days.