Ten Fun Facts about Pumpkins!

  1. All pumpkins are not created orange. There are stunning varieties grown globally that ripen to hues of yellow, white, pink, red, tan and even blue!
  2. Out of the 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins grown in the United States each year, 80 percent of the crop ripens and hits the market in October.
  3. If pumpkins make you think of Cinderella’s horse drawn carriage, there’s a good reason. The first use of the word “pumpkin” came from this classic fairy tale. The melon was known in Greek as “pepon” which means “large melon.” French explorer Jacque Cartier dubbed them “gros melons” which translated to English as “pompions.” From there creative license landed them on the page as a “pumpkin” that was “bippity-boppity-booed” into a stunning carriage that whisked Cinderella away to the ball.
  4. Roland, Manitoba Canada is home to the world’s largest pumpkin…but if you tried to make it into a pie, both you and the residents Roland would be profoundly disappointed! The pumpkin is a 12 foot by 12 foot (3.7 x 3.7 meters) monster made out of steel rods and orange fibreglass. You can check out this roadside attraction-along with other outsized creations-by visiting travelmanitoba.com
  5. The world record holder for the largest pumpkin grown is Stefano Cutrupi of Tuscany, Italy. Stefano’s 2021 pumpkin weighed in at an incredible 2,702 pounds 13.9 ounces (1226 kg)!
  6. When you buy a can of pumpkin, it probably isn’t actually pumpkin. The popular moniker and pie filling is far more likely to be scooped from a closer relative of a butternut and acorn squash. If you want to grow your own bonafide pumpkin filling, a three pound (1.4 kg) pumpkin will provide about a can’s worth.
  7. Turnips and beets were the original choice for creating jack o lanterns. The practice originated in Ireland and Scotland to scare evil spirits away. After immigrating to North America the use of the larger and easier-to-carve pumpkins, became the go-to produce instead.
  8. That pumpkin latte you reserve as a fall treat probably contains very little-if any-actual pumpkin. Truth is, pumpkins-or any squash for that matter-don’t pack a very big wallop of flavour on their own. While some chains may drop in a dab or two of puree, the seasonal favourite relies instead on a sprinkling of cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg; the same seasonings that bring us the classic flavour of pumpkin pie.
  9. Pumpkins are native to Central America and Mexico and have been cultivated for millennia by Indigenous North Americans. Pumpkins even predate corn and beans, which later became part of an Indigenous planting method known as the”three sisters”. The corn provided a trellis for the beans to clamour up, while the squash grew below and smothered out weeds.
  10. Pumpkins are a fruit, not a vegetable. Britannica defines a fruit as “the fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a flowering plant, enclosing the seed or seeds“. Anyone who has scooped a generous serving of seeds from the inside of a pumpkin can verify that these orange globes are definitely a fruit. Bonus fact – the average pumpkin holds 500 seeds!