CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

October 5, 2014

11 Facts About Pumpkins


Carolyn’s compositions

11 FACTS ABOUT PUMPKINS

Watch for upcoming quiz on jackolanterns…

Hubby Monte

Hubby Monte

Ahh, autumn, a season of holidays which feature the pumpkin—be they the traditional orange or yellow, white, green or red^^ The traditional American pumpkin is the Connecticut field variety.*

But what is a pumpkin? It is a squash, is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash, cucumbers,*** honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. **

Autumn is the season when my husband, Monte, becomes enthused about making pumpkin pies, filling our home with the sweet odor of cooked pumpkin.

We don’t suffer the hardships the Pilgrims suffered when arriving on the shores of the New World. One 1630 Pilgrim described his hardships as follows (1630):

“For pottage and puddings and custard 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.”****

What do you know about pumpkins? Below are 10 questions plus a bonus question. Answers are on the next page.

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QUESTIONS

  1. Name the only continent that cannot grow pumpkins.
  2. Why do some people think that the pumpkin should be our national fruit?
  3. Where did the pumpkin plant originate?
  4. Where is the self-proclaimed pumpkin capital of the world? Why there?
  5. How many pounds of pumpkin are produced in the United States every year?
  6. In early colonial times how did the colonists make the original pumpkin pie?
  7. What is the origin of the name “pumpkin?” What did Native Americans call them?
  8. What is the water content of pumpkins, and how many calories of energy does 100 grams produce, and what is its dietary benefit?
  9. How big was the largest pumpkin pie ever made, how much did it weigh, and how long did it take to bake?
  10. Giant pumpkins are often grown for competitions. The heaviest pumpkin on record weighed  __________; the largest “official” pumpkin on record weighed ________,

BONUS QUESTION

The largest pumpkin pie used ____ pounds of cooked pumpkin, ____ pounds of sugar, and ____ dozen eggs.

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To learn the answers click on MORE

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ANSWERS

  1. Antarctica. The other six continents can grow pumpkins. Pumpkins even grow in the state of Alaska!*
  2. It is believed to have been served at the first Thanksgiving feast with the pilgrims and the Indians back in 1620, and also at the first Independence Day celebration.*****
  3. It is believed pumpkins originated in North America because seeds from related plants have been found in Mexico dating back to 7000 to 5500 B.C****
  4. Morton, Illinois, the home of the Libby corporation’s pumpkin industry.* & ****
  5. Over 1 billion pounds (450 million kgs).^^
  6. The pumpkin was used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.*** Colonists cut off the pumpkin tops, removed the seeds and filled the insides with milk, honey and spices and baked this in hot ashes.*****
  7. The Greek word “pepon” – meaning “large melon.”*  and/or “cooked by the sun”).****Native Americans called them “isqoutm, or isquotersquash.”*
  8. Pumpkins are 90 percent water***** and produce around 26 calories of energy per 100 grams.^^ Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber, while being good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron**
  9. It measured over five feet in diameter, weighed over 350 pounds,*  **** and took six hours to bake.*
  10. In 2010, the world record was set at 1810 pounds.^^ It was presented by Chris Stevens at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.** The largest “official” pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,340 pounds.  The largest “unofficial” pumpkin ever grown weighed 1’458 pounds, but was not awarded due to damage.*

BONUS ANSWER:

It used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.*

Monte's ribbon-winning pumpkin pie

Monte’s ribbon-winning pumpkin pie

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~

ADDITIONAL READING:

WHAT? NO PUMPKIN PIE FOR THANKSGIVING?

THE SNITTY CAT LIKES PUMPKIN PIE?

Monte’s Pie Baking Escapades

My Husband’s Famous Pumpkin Pie

My Husband’s Pumpkin Pie Saga

SOURCES:

*   http://www.pumpkinfresh.com/facts.htm

**   http://www.history.com/topics/halloween/pumpkin-facts

***   http://www.pumpkin-patch.com/facts.html

****   http://www.edhat.com/site/tidbit.cfm?id=426

*****   http://fillyourplate.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/interesting-facts-about-the-pumpkin/

^   http://www.hsgpurchasing.com/Articles/pumpkin.htm

^^   http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/food/pumpkins.html

^^^   http://mentalfloss.com/article/12865/what%E2%80%99s-origin-jack-o%E2%80%99-lanterns

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5 Comments »

  1. Pumpkins are fun to grow and cut into Jack o laterns, but sweet potatoe pies,/dishes taste a whole lot better !

    Comment by Grace (&Fred) — October 6, 2014 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

    • A matter of opinion, my dear, a matter of opinion…actually, I don’t care for either.

      Comment by carolyncholland — October 7, 2014 @ 12:53 am | Reply

  2. […] 11 Facts About Pumpkins […]

    Pingback by France: earliest depiction of American pumpkin | Dear Kitty. Some blog — October 7, 2014 @ 2:01 pm | Reply

  3. I like pumpkin pies, especially pumpkin pecan pies….yum-yummy! 🙂

    Comment by merry101 — October 7, 2014 @ 8:23 pm | Reply


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