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Fall is around the corner...and what immediately comes to your mind when you think of it? Pumpkins, of course! This versatile vegetable has been known to stick around all throughout the autumn season and even celebrates two big holidays around the U.S. Here are some of the most popular pumpkin picks and the best ways how to serve them.
Let's start with the basics here. Both squash and pumpkin belong to the same family (the cucurbitaceae). However, pumpkin is actually one type of squash. Squash generally refers to four species of genus Cucurbita, with one of the species including the one pumpkins belong to. Pumpkins also are the color orange and have yellow-orange skin, but are also differentiated from the squash because of its stem. A pumpkin’s stem is stuff and spikey. Also, its seeds are edible, unlike other squash varieties.
It’s the sweetest winter squash with a thick, bright, orange, saturated flesh that doesn’t have as many seeds as most others. Butternut squash is also easy to peel. You can also mash and puree this ingredient smoothly, making it a perfect consistency for creamy butternut squash soup. You can also create ravioli filling or risotto flavoring.
Its pale yellow-white skin contains bright yellow or orange flesh, perfect for cooking. Once cooked, the inside pulls apart into thick, noodle-like strands, and then you can create pasta-like dishes (hence the squash’s name). Another easy way to cook this squash is to roast it with butter and salt, and watch the flesh cook and unfold to create a delicious meal.
To much surprise, this pumpkin doesn’t taste like cheese, it just looks like a cheese wheel, which is why it’s given its name. This vegetable is best for sweet pumpkin pies. Its high sugar content will satisfy any sweet tooth (without rotting your teeth)!
This large pumpkin gets its name from the classic fairytale, Cinderella, when they turn a pumpkin into her carriage. It’s a French heirloom with a flat appearance, although voluptuous, and is a scarlet orange. It’s best for making savory dishes with a dash of sweet for the perfect combination.
This large, round mottled dark green squash has bumpy skin, but when cooked it makes for a delicious addition to any meal. Its inside is very sweet and tender with a slight nutty flavor, and is dense and smooth. You can easily prepare it just by just toasting it or baking it and adding butter, oil, and salt, and the rest of the flavors will shine on its own. If you want to be creative, you can incorporate chunks of it in soup or turn it into tempura.
Believe it or not, there are pumpkins best for specifically certain activities, such as decorating your home, painting them or carving them. You can pick different pumpkins by knowing which ones you shouldn’t eat/which are better for decorating. It also depends on what kind of jack-o-lantern you’re looking to make:
Crystal Star: Its white color is unique to create a ghostly-looking carving. When these pumpkin age, they don't turn blue or green like most other white pumpkins, it remains white, making it a long-lasting jack-o-lantern to keep all season. Now available for $10 on sale.
Knucklehead: Known for its warty skin that presents green, this is the perfect pumpkin to create a scary/creepy looking carving.
Autumn Golds: This manageable variety weighs typically between 7-10 pounds. They’re a beautiful golden-orange color before they fully ripen and are easier to carve than other pumpkins. This makes for the perfect carving pumpkin, especially for beginners. This week starting at $10.