DID YOU KNOW?
Not only is the pumpkin a fun icon of Halloween; it is the key ingredient of that tasty Thanksgiving tradition, the pumpkin pie.
While most pumpkins are orange, they also come in dark green, light green, white, red, gray, blue, and orange-yellow. Remarkably high levels of lutein, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene are responsible for the orange coloring and also for transforming Vitamin A in the body.
Many people think the pumpkin is a vegetable but in actuality it is a squash fruit related to cucumbers, gherkins, and melons. Pumpkins consist of 90% water and if you fill a pumpkin with milk and then bake it, you will have a pudding.
In Ireland, the original Jack O’ Lanterns were made of hollowed-out turnips, a plentiful fruit readily obtainable throughout the British Isles. However, upon reaching America, the settlers found a plethora of already hollowed-out pumpkins, ready to use.
Native Americans called pumpkins “isquotersquash”.
The weight of the world’s largest pumpkin has been variously listed as 1,061 lb., 1140 lb., 1385 lb., and 1,502 lb., in Paletine, Illinois. Take your pick.
Native to the Western Hemisphere, Central America specifically, pumpkins were originally used as a food crop, finding root all over the world.
Pumpkins grow in present-day continental Europe, India, New Zealand, Australia, and Alaska.
Settlers to the New World sent pumpkin seeds back to their English relatives where the new seeds and fruit rapidly became popular.
Turnips are usually carved differently than are pumpkins; instead of carving the turnip all the way through such is done with pumpkins, sections of turnips are merely incised away so as to give a shimmering appearance.
Besides making a yummy snack, pumpkin seeds are full of zinc, iron, potassium, magnesium, and essential fatty acids.
During the Halloween season, about 99% of the pumpkins grown for domestic consumption are earmarked for the sole purpose of carving Jack O’Lanterns.
The world record time of merely 37 seconds was needed by Jerry Ayers of Baltimore, Maryland to make the quickest recorded pumpkin carving.
Pumpkin flowers are edible.
At one time, pumpkins were used as a home remedy to heal snake bites and to remove freckles.
Pumpkins can be grown in Alaska but not in Antarctica, the only continent hostile to pumpkin cultivation.
Morton, Illinois is the self-declared pumpkin capital of the world. The Nestle pumpkin packing facility prepares 90% of all processed and canned pumpkin consumed in the United States.
Pumpkin plant-related seeds dating back to 7,000 to 5,500 BCE were found in Mexico.
Talk about an all-purpose plant! Not only are the seeds and flowers delicious and healthy for consumption, in early Colonial days, pumpkins were not used to fill pies; rather, they were an important component used to bind together pie crusts.