9 Pumpkin Facts to Impress Everyone at Your Halloween Party
Every fall, they invade our grocery stores and our lattes. They pop up in our farmers’ markets and on our porches. That’s right, I’m talking about pumpkins, those beautiful orange globes that signal the start of fall. To celebrate the return of America’s favorite edible holiday decoration, here are nine fun pumpkin facts to share at this year’s Halloween party or Thanksgiving dinner.
1. But How Many Pies Could That Make?
The record for largest pumpkin ever grown goes to a Belgian man named Mathias Willemijns in October of 2016. Mr. Willemijns’ pumpkin weighed in at 2624.6 pounds. But as fall rolls around again we have one very pressing question. Will Mathias maintain his title as Pumpkin King, or will he be cast off like last year’s tofurky casserole?
To learn more about Mr. Willemijns and his record breaking pumpkin, click here.
2. Pumpkin’s Sister from Another Mister
Native Americans grew pumpkins along side beans and corn in a trio referred to as “three sisters” because the three plants helped each other grow and thrive. I don’t know how siblings of the early Americas treated each other, but I’m not sure this metaphor works for my sister who didn’t so much help me “grow” as tried to destroy me before I could even walk.
3. Pilgrims Were Pumpkin Fanboys
According to All About Pumpkins, pumpkins were one of the key foods that allowed early settlers to survive. They were so grateful to the life-saving pumpkin, one pilgrim even wrote this badly rhyming poem in 1633.
For pottage and puddings and custards and pies
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.
4. Not Your Grandma’s Pumpkin Pie
Is there anything more delicious than a pumpkin pie with a homemade flakey crust? Apparently, pilgrims thought the answer was yes, because the earliest pumpkin desserts didn’t even have crust. The dish consisted of a hollowed out pumpkin filled with cream, honey, eggs, and spices and cooked in a fire. If you want to try your hand at cooking it up, pilgrim style, check out this recipe here.
5. Pumpkin Identity Crisis
You may grow your pumpkins in a vegetable garden, but that doesn’t make it any less a fruit. A fruit is defined as: “the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant that contains seed and can be eaten as food.” Pumpkins are packed full of seeds, ergo they are fruit. Other fruit masquerading as veggies include cucumbers, avocado, peppers, and olives. What a bunch of frauds!
6. Pumpkins Are the Real Magical Fruit
At some point in history, people believed pumpkins could help get rid of freckles and also cure snakebites. I don’t know about that, but pumpkins are crazy good for you. Eating pumpkin can benefit your eyesight, your heart, aid with weight loss, improve your mood, and they even have some cancer fighting properties! Oh pumpkin, what can’t you do?
7. Is There Also a Pumpkin White House?
There is a pumpkin capital of the world and it’s Morton, Illinois. How did it get this title? According to Village of Morton President Ronald Rainson, it has something to do with the fact Morton is home to a factory that cans “more than 82-percent of the canned pumpkin in the world.” The town also hosts a whole Pumpkin Festival, which includes a pumpkin princess pageant and a pumpkin pie eating competition. I would like to enter both.
Allegedly, some other towns were trying to claim the title of Pumpkin Capital, so a journalist attempted to sniff out the truth. You can find that article here.
8. God Went a Little Nuts With Pumpkin Variety
There are forty-five different varieties of pumpkins. Forty-five. Some of the craziest types include the Lil’ Pumpkemon, the Long Island Cheese, and the Old Zebs. There is even one called the Warty Goblin, which you can buy seeds for here.
9. Remember When It Only Came in Lattes?
It’s official. Starbucks has sold over 350 million Pumpkin Spice Lattes worldwide, and that’s not including this year’s haul. But since that first barista crafted that very first caffeinated fall treat, pumpkin spice has found its way into a plethora of other food products, with mixed results. These days you can dazzle (or traumatize) your tastebuds with pumpkin spice Oreos, Cheerios, yogurt, Pringles, pasta, and even garbanzo beans. I wonder if the pilgrims had any idea of the pumpkin spice curse they had unleashed on their descendants.