It ’ s October and you know what that mean … pumpkin EVERYTHING !
When asked about my favourite pumpkin-infused product of the season , I often turn to something rather near and dear to my heart - that probably isn ’ t very good for my heart - a good old , hefty slice of pumpkin pie .
But before that deliciously heavy pumpkin pie filling can be added to your flaky , light , perfectly shaped pie crust , it has to come from somewhere , or rather , something . Pumpkins are grown very low on the ground . They start as a small seed and over a period of 85- 125 days they mature into the large , orange gourds we know and love . The word ‘ pumpkin ’ originated with the Greek word for ‘ large melon ’ and evolved through French and British terms until finally becoming ‘ pumpkin ’ to the American colonists .
People have used pumpkins as a source of food , medicine , light and even with explosives to make quite the mess !
Here are more super fun facts about pumpkins :
• Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A .
• Pumpkin flowers are edible .
• 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 were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites .
Picking your pumpkin for Halloween ? Here ’ s how to make sure it ’ s a good one :
Inspect the skin . Keep an eye out for gouges or blemishes that might invite rotting and pests . Poke and prod . What begins as a small , soft spot can grow into a large , caved-in mess overnight .
Pick local . Purchasing from a local grower means your pumpkin has been spared the bruising and battering of being shipped .
• The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds .
• The Connecticut Field variety is the traditional American pumpkin .
• Pumpkins are 90 per cent water .
• Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine . There are many different varieties of pumpkins and they range in size , colour and shape . Types include the Jumpin ' Jack , a large , dark orange , heavy pumpkin ; the Autumn Gold hybrid , a yellowish pumpkin ; and finally , my nickname in high school , the Sweetie Pie , a small , scalloped , medium orange .
So happy pumpkin eating readers ! Enjoy the fall and I ’ ll see you all in November .
Tell us on Facebook about your adventures with food this month , or tweet us @ thehubWE # foodmatters
October 2016 - The HUB 7