+
General Discussion

About Pumpkin Varieties [Split from SF Board]

Karen_Schaffer | Nov 20, 200604:29 AM     7

Ah, let me put on my gardening hat for a moment here. The reason many made from scratch pumpkin pies are so bad is that not all pumpkins are created equal. Actually, to be precise, 'pumpkin' is NOT a botanically precise term. 'Pumpkin' is a visual designation. Any winter squash can be called a pumpkin if fits our visual criteria for pumpkin: round, ribbed, orange (with a special exception made for the white ones).

Not everything that's called a pumpkin is even the same species! Most of them, the Jack-O-Lantern types, are Cucurbita maxima, but some like Small Sugar are C. pepo, and the ones that are used in canning such as Dickinson are C. moschata, which don't even look like a classic pumpkin. Go to
http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/pl... and scroll down to see a picture of one. Further down the page is Winter Luxury Pie, reportedly one of the best for pie making.

The Jack-o-lantern types have been bred for thin walls that are easy to carve. Taste was not a factor! They make terrible pies because they're watery, stringy, not particularly sweet, and frankly not very tasty. Nothing wrong with the species -- some of the best eating squashes are C. maxima, but Jack-o-lanterns aren't them!

Hope this was of interest and not to gardening geeky. I have a passion for winter squashes. They're so beautiful, come in such a variety, and have a wide range of tastes and textures.

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

Amazon Prime Day: Our Fave Instant Pot comes with Echo Dot
Shop

Amazon Prime Day: Our Fave Instant Pot comes with Echo Dot

by Grace Gonzalez | In case you haven’t realized by now, we are obsessed with the Instant Pot, which is why we couldn...

Amazon Prime Day 2019: The Best Kitchen & Cookware Deals During the Final Day
Shop

Amazon Prime Day 2019: The Best Kitchen & Cookware Deals During the Final Day

by Chowhound Editors | It's officially Day 2 of Amazon Prime Day 2019 (aka, the final day) and we're still seeing some great...

Never Tried Sous Vide? A Chef-Quality Sous Vide Stick Is on Prime Day Discount
Shop

Never Tried Sous Vide? A Chef-Quality Sous Vide Stick Is on Prime Day Discount

by David Watsky | The sous vide method hit the mainstream a few years ago but if you haven't had a chance to try out...

Editor's Picks: The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals for the Kitchen
Shop

Editor's Picks: The Best Amazon Prime Day Deals for the Kitchen

by Joey Skladany | Prime Day, Amazon's version of Black Friday, has officially arrived and the number of sales is more...

See what's new!

View latest discussions ›

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.