The Great Pumpkin Debate

Good morning everyone,

It's looking like we've got a nice weekend in store with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid 20s. Make sure you enjoy it, because we can expect rain on Tuesday and then it's going to be a lot cooler the rest of the week-highs will be around 21C or so from Wednesday through Friday.

Apparently there was a program on tv the other day explaining how American pumpkins weren't as good as Japanese pumpkins for cooking or we use squash instead of pumpkins or something like that...did you see it?

Well, I missed it, but I've heard from more than one student about it, so I thought I'd try to clear up some points.

To put it simply, you can use the same pumpkin for cooking as you do for making (carving) a jack-o-lantern, but it takes a lot of effort and doesn't have the same sweet taste as a cooking pumpkin. Typically, we don't use the same kinds of pumpkins for baking as we do for carving. The ones we use for carving are bright orange and have a relatively thin skin which makes them easier to see at night and easier to cut and they look scarier with a candle inside them.

The pumpkins we use for cooking look a lot like the ones you have in Japan. They're much smaller and the skin is much harder but the color of their skin may be green, orange or yellow. They have a sweeter taste and are often used for pies or soups. In fact, they are often referred to as 'sugar pumpkins' or 'pie pumpkins'.

The last thing I wanted to make clear is something they said on tv about squash. Well, to be honest, it's a little tricky to explain. Yes, we have squash and they are often used for soups and other dishes. They are from the same family as pumpkins but they are technically different...the confusing part is that in New Zealand they call the Butternut Squash (great for cooking) a Butternut Pumpkin even though it's not a pumpkin at all. Don't ask me why...ha ha!
pumpkins and squash

Have a great day!