Monday, October 6, 2014

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Pumpkin?

Pumpkins and upstate New York go together like - well, fall color and upstate New York.
Country Wagon Produce, Maine, NY

(and, at this time of year, overcast clouds go together with fall in upstate New York like.... but I digress).

What is a pumpkin?  It is a  Cucurbitaceae, or a squash, related to melons, gourds, and cucumbers.  In the United States, until recent years, orange pumpkins were the most popular. Now, white pumpkins are also gaining in popularity.  And, heirloom pumpkins are making a comeback - green, warted, flattish, and others.  There are miniature pumpkins for tabletops, smallish pumpkins ("sugar" pumpkins) for pies, large pumpkins for carving and huge pumpkins for growing contests  and punkin chunkin.

Pumpkins are used in other parts of the world, too, in various ways from decorations to soup.

I have never grown pumpkins, because they are far from my favorite food (although I love other winter squashes, especially butternut, delicata and acorn), but they are easy enough to grow, especially where I live in upstate New York.

When I grew up, in the New York City of the 1950's and 1960's, pumpkins had three uses:
1.  Jack o'lanterns;
2.  Pumpkin seeds (roasted and sold as snacks; and
3.  Pumpkin pie.
 
Now, in upstate New York, and elsewhere in the United States, everything seems to have pumpkin in it, whether you want it or not.

In our local small supermarket (and I emphasize "small"), I found the following for sale, besides the actual pumpkin fruit (yes, pumpkin is a fruit, but we won't get too technical here):
Pumpkin flavored coffee
Pumpkin pizzelle cookies
Pumpkin quick bread and muffin mix
Pumpkin bar mix
Pumpkin ice cream
Pumpkin spice mix
Sparkling spiced pumpkin cider
Pumpkin spice marshmallows
Pumpkin, canned
Pumpkin cream cheese spread
Frozen pumpkin ravioli
Pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling
Pumpkin flavored coffee creamer

Which leaves people like me who don't like pumpkin, baffled.

How did eating punkin-I mean, pumpkins-get to be so popular?  Yes, I know the flesh is nutritious, and the seeds are nutritional powerhouses. But still?  That taste?

Do you like to eat pumpkin flavored foods?  Or do you hope this is a fad that will go away?  Or, is pumpkin not eaten where you live?

16 comments:

  1. I am visiting from the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have to say I love pumpkin and I also love butternut squash. I love using both to make casseroles - especially for the holidays. But everyone has their own preferences. I thoroughly enjoyed your post. You definitely provided a lot of good information.

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    1. I haven't tried pumpkin in a casserole but I eat butternut squash in various ways. I don't know why I don't like the taste of pumpkin - I also do not like Hubbard squash. As you say, everyone has their own preferences. Just a little surprised that so many people want pumpkin flavor in so many different products.

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  2. I love pumpkin. I just ate a slice of pumpkin pie...not kidding. I do think that there can be a bit of an overkill on pumpkin though. My boys had some pumpkin ice cream this past weekend and I thought that was a bit weird. LOL

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    1. Everything in moderation - that's a good saying. I'm surprised they don't have pumpkin whipped cream in a can for pumpkin pie - or, maybe they do. I'm afraid to look for it!

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  3. You didn't happen to take the picture at Country Wagon produce this past Saturday, did you?

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    1. Yes, that's when I took the picture - on the Farm Trail. I was thinking of writing this post when I took it, by the way. Country Wagon always has great prices on squash, too.

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    2. I was there with my sisters on Saturday, too. We took a few photos under one of the beautiful trees out front. I have been reading your blog since the summer--a happy find, as I am a Maine native and enjoy references to my hometown. I also am a bit of a Civil War buff, too! Thanks for writing!

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  4. I just love pumpkins and no, never such a thing as too many of them! That photo looks like fantasy land to me, Alana! So pretty!

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    1. Thank you, Vidya, upstate New York indeed has a lot of beauty - like many other parts of the world. Enjoyed bringing it to you.

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  5. Alana,
    I LOVE your blog! It's colorful and you provide a lot of information that's available right there in New York state where you live. Your pictures are beautiful and colorful. I always learn something new from you. I love pumpkin myself and have had it many ways. One of my favorite ways is in Moroccan food, in tangine, cooked in a local earthen pot. It's cut in huge chunks and served with couscous and meat. So delicious! Mmmm! I enjoy pumpkin pie and pumpkin seeds (tasted first in Egypt), I really like the list of pumpkin-flavored foods you shared. Who knew? Thanks a lot! I'll just sign this comment...
    -- "Pumpkin-head"!

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    1. That tangine sounds wonderful. Maybe I would like pumpkin that way. Pumpkin seeds were commonly sold as a snack (also sunflower seeds) when I was young, growing up in New York City. Now you can buy local pumpkin seed snacks - shelled and spiced - and they are so crisp, and good. Thank you for letting me know you enjoy my blog and my photos - I appreciate your comments!

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  6. I love pumpkin!! Some of my favourites are pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin pie and pumpkin muffins.

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    1. You would have no trouble finding any of those where I live - thank you for stopping by!

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  7. Beautiful picture! Personally, I do love the taste of pumpkin... but only REAL pumpkin. The artificial stuff (like most artificial flavors) makes me gak.

    My girls love to make pumpkin muffins from the puree we made (and froze) from last year's pumpkins. We're just about out, so it's a good thing it's pumpkin season again!

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    1. Love hearing you process the natural pumpkin and then make from scratch muffins. Pumpkin muffins can be so healthy, depending on what you put in them - good for your children. I used to enjoy baking blueberry muffins with my son when he was young (he's grown now).

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  8. I know, I know!! It's such a delight that pumpkin is so popular now! Our farmer's market has the most beautiful pumpkins right now--all colors! Your photo above is just wonderful, even with the cloudy skies. Those trees in the background just beginning to turn, in front of the field of neatly-arranged pumpkins: perfect!

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