Pumpkins are members of the cucurbit (Cucurbitaceae) family that also includes Cucumbers, Gourds, Melons, Squash, and Zucchinis. There are a number of different varieties including Grey (or Jarrahdale), Butternut and Kent (or Jap). Each have bright orange flesh, but are quite different in shape, external colour and taste.
Growing and harvesting
We grow Jarrahdale (aka Grey) pumpkins in north-west Tasmania that we sell in the autumn and winter. Jarrahdale’s are similar to the Queensland Blue Pumpkin, but slightly smaller and less ribbed. Butternut and Kent Pumpkins come to us from the mainland. Pumpkins are hand harvested and stored in bins in ambient temperatures after harvest.
A good Pumpkin should be firm to the touch. Avoid Pumpkins with soft spots or sunken areas. Visual imperfections are fine as long as the skin is firm, as Pumpkin skin is hard and protects the flesh.
Keep whole Pumpkins in a cool, dry, well-ventilated spot with temperatures around 10-15°C. Wrap cut Pumpkin tightly in cling film and place it in the fridge. There are different schools of thought whether leaving the seeds in or scooping them out is better, but we think it makes no difference to how long the Pumpkin will last.
When cooked, the whole Pumpkin is edible – the skin, pulp, and seeds – you just need to remove the stringy bits which hold the seeds in place. Pumpkins are great roasted, and a hearty Pumpkin soup can warm anyone’s heart on a cold winter’s day. Pumpkin scones have retained their popularity after being made famous by an infamous politicians’ wife. While we tend to use Pumpkins in savoury recipes here in Australia, Pumpkin pie is a staple at Thanksgiving in the USA.
Jarrahdale Pumpkins are a source of Vitamin C. Butternut Pumpkins are a good source of Vitamin A, and a good source of potassium, folate and Vitamin C.
Try it now
This Sticky Roast Pumpkin recipe from taste.com.au is a great side to accompany a roast.