Pumpkins are the round, typically orange members of the winter squash family. Pumpkins originated in Central America and have been a part of American cuisine for centuries. If harvested and handled properly, pumpkins, like other winter squash can last long into the winter.
Did you know?
- The bright orange color of pumpkins is a giveaway that pumpkins are loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene.
- The top pumpkin production states are Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.
- Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack. Pumpkins are typically used to make soups, pies and breads but can be included in a variety of dishes.
- Pumpkins contain potassium, Vitamin A and are 90% water.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds. It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.
- Pumpkins range in size from less than a pound to over 1,000 pounds. The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
- When choosing a fresh pumpkin, look for a pumpkin with 1-2 inches of stem left. Avoid pumpkins with blemishes and soft spots. It should be heavy, but shape is not important.