Idaho’s favorable growing conditions allow the state’s pumpkin harvest to produce many varieties 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.
To find a local pumpkin patch in your area please visit Idaho Pumpkin Patches and More.
What To Look For
Pumpkins grown for carving are large, have a thick hard rind on the outside and thin, stringy pulp on the inside. These pumpkins are filled with seeds (which can be baked and made into a delicious snack!) but the flesh on the inside will have little or no flavor if cooked. These pumpkins are perfect for carving jack-0-lanterns or using as a festival fall display. Choose a pumpkin that has a bold orange color with no bruises or soft spots and a nice sized, sturdy stem.
Pumpkins grown for baking are smaller in size and labeled as a “cooking”, “pie” or “sugar” pumpkin. These types of pumpkins have a sweet, tender flesh that are particularly good for cooking and baking. Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are 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.
How to Store: Store baking pumpkins in the pantry for up to one month.
- Idaho pumpkins are available from September through November.
- The pulp of Idaho pumpkins is great for soups, breads, 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 off colds.
- Pumpkins are a type of winter squash. Winter squash differs from summer squash in that the skin is hard, thick and inedible.
Find Idaho Preferred pumpkin growers here.
- Pumpkin Gnocchi with Huckleberry Sauce and Apple Frizzles
- Pumpkin or Squash Soup
- Rum Spiced Pumpkin Trifle
- Fresh Pumpkin Pie