Featured image of post The Pumpkin

The Pumpkin

Where did the pumpkin originate? What were some of the earliest ways of preparing pumpkin? Keep reading if you’d like to find out.

Happy October everyone! Depending on where you live you may notice the leaves starting to change and the summer heat takes a step back so the cooler weather can have its turn. One of my favorite things about this time of year is the pumpkin. I get so excited when I’m driving down the road and I see people setting up the displays for the local pumpkin patch. Or even when I walk into the grocery store and see the bins full of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. It makes me so happy.

One of my favorite types of pumpkins to buy is the pie pumpkin. The pie pumpkin is the best to use for cooking. However, you can most certainly cut up a large pumpkin and roast it just the same. The pie pumpkin is smaller and sweeter than the large jack-o-lantern types.

Pumpkin field

The pumpkin originated in what is now northeastern Mexico and the southern United States. One the oldest known plants, the pumpkin, is said to have been used as early as 7500 to 5000 BC.1

One of the first ways recorded to prepare a pumpkin was as a side dish. Pumpkins would be prepared and diced after cooking in a pot for the whole day. Once the pumpkin was cooked, butter and spices would be added. This recipe comes from John Josselyn’s book New England’s Rarities Discovered, published in the early 1670s.2

Native Americans are said to have roasted long strips of pumpkin to eat. The European colonists are responsible for what is now referred to as the pumpkin pie. However, it was not prepared in a pie shell like we do today. The colonists instead would remove the top of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. They would fill the pumpkin with honey, milk, and seasonings. The pumpkin would roast in hot ashes until ready.3

Pumpkins come in all shapes and sizes. The largest recorded pumpkin weighed 1190.49 kg (2,624.6 lb). It was grown by Matthew Willemijns of Belgium and authenticated by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth in Ludwigsburg, Germany, on 9 October 2016.4 That would make a lot of roasted pumpkin!

If you would like to see how I roast the pumpkins I use for pies and other recipes you can click here for detailed instructions.

Roasted pumpkin can be used for sweet or savory dishes. I love using it for pies but one of my favorite ways to use it is in a recipe for pumpkin ravioli. I hope you will give it try.

  1. "Cucurbita pepo L." Kew Science, Plants of the World, Royal Botanic Garden, UK. 2018. ↩︎

  2. Josselyn, J. (1672). New-Englands rarities discovered: In birds, beasts, fishes, serpents, and plants of that country. together with the physical and chyrurgical remedies wherewith the natives constantly use to cure their distempers, wounds, and sores. also a perfect description of an Indian squa, in all her bravery; with a poem not improperly conferr’d upon her. lastly a chronological table of the most remarkable passages in that country amongst the English. illustrated with cuts. Printed for G. Widdowes. ↩︎

  3. https://www.herbazest.com/herbs/pumpkin/pumpkin-origin-history ↩︎

  4. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/heaviest-pumpkin ↩︎

Licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0
Built with Hugo
Theme Stack designed by Jimmy