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Idaho’s favorable growing conditions lend themselves to a variety of pumpkins that are pleasing to the eye and rich in flavor. There are two different types of pumpkins – carving pumpkins and pie pumpkins – and they are very different in structure and taste.
Carving pumpkins are large, with a thick, hard rind outside, and thin, stringy pulp inside. These pumpkins are filled with seeds (which can be baked and made into a delicious snack!) but the inside flesh offers little or no flavor if cooked. These pumpkins are perfect for carving jack-0-lanterns or using them as a festive fall display. Choose a pumpkin that has a bold orange color with no bruises or soft spots and a nice-sized, sturdy stem.
Pumpkin Basics Cont.
Baking pumpkins are smaller and labeled as a “cooking,” “pie,” or “sugar” pumpkin. These types of pumpkins have a sweet, tender flesh that is particularly good for cooking and baking. Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that seem heavy for their size. These small varieties weigh 4-6 pounds and will yield 1 ½ – 2 cups of pumpkin puree. Baking pumpkins are perfect for making pumpkin bread, pie, cheesecake, muffins, pancakes, cookies, rolls, and soups.
Fun Facts about Idaho Pumpkins
Idaho pumpkins are available from September through November.
The pulp of Idaho pumpkins is great for soups, bread, desserts, and even main dishes.
Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A, which is vital for healthy vision.
Pumpkins are loaded with Vitamin C to help fight colds.
Pumpkins are a type of winter squash. Winter squash differs from summer squash in that the skin is hard, thick, and inedible.