The pumpkin, a beloved symbol of autumn, is available in various sizes, shapes and colors. It makes its most impressive entry to the culinary world in October and its popularity continues to and through Thanksgiving. Once it was known as a peopon but the Americans decided it should be pumpkin.
The pumpkin (there are now 45 varieties) is a fruit not a vegetable. It originated in North America about 9,000 years ago. Every part can be eaten: the skin, the leaves, the flowers, the pulp, the seeds (500 per pumpkin) and the stems.
The Native Americans enjoyed the inner pulp baked, boiled, roasted and dried. They added the blossoms to soups and turned dried pieces of pumpkin into rich flour and ate the seeds as a treat. The colonists also learned how to cut off the top of a pumpkin, remove the seeds and then fill with milk, spices and honey, cooking the whole gourd in hot ashes. It was probably the beginning of the pumpkin pie.
Always valued as a food crop, the Irish immigrants arou...
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