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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pumpkin

 HISTORY

In the 16th and early 17th-centuries a pumpkin was called a 'pompon' or 'pompion'. The word 'pumpkin' was first used in 1647.

The name "pumpkin" originated from "pepon", the Greek word for "large melon."

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine.


When early settlers arrived in America, they discovered that Native Americans were growing and using pumpkins. They roasted strips of pumpkin over an open fire for food.

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

Halloween pumpkin carving stems from a Celtic tradition of turnip carving to ward off evil spirits. The "head" of turnips were used, with the belief that the head was the most powerful part of the body, containing the spirit and the knowledge. However, it wasn't until 1866 that the pumpkin became associated with Halloween - a tradition originating from North America, where pumpkins were readily available and much larger, making them easier to carve.

CULTIVATION

Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and New York are the four major pumpkin growing states, together producing 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkin in 2008.

A pumpkin patch in Winchester, Oregon

Morton, Illinois calls itself the 'Pumpkin Capital of the World' and holds an annual pumpkin festival in the second week of September.

Nestlé, operating under the brand name Libby's, produces 85% of the world's canned pumpkin at their plant in Morton, Illinois.

USAGE

In the United States and Canada, pumpkin is a popular Halloween and Thanksgiving staple. Pumpkin pie was among the dishes at the first Thanksgiving.

Commercially canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie fillings are usually made from different kinds of winter squash than the pumpkins frequently carved as jack-o'-lanterns for decoration around Halloween.


Pumpkin flowers are edible. In the southwestern United States and Mexico they are used to garnish dishes, and they may be dredged in a batter then fried in oil.

Pumpkin leaves are a popular vegetable in the Western and central regions of Kenya; they are called seveve, and are an ingredient of mukimo respectively, whereas the pumpkin itself is usually boiled or steamed.

Raw pumpkin can be fed to poultry, as a supplement to regular feed, during the winter to help maintain egg production, which usually drops off during the cold months.

Canned pumpkin is often recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for cats and dogs and cats that are experiencing certain digestive ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, or hairballs. The high fiber content helps to aid proper digestion.

NUTRITION

Pumpkins are 90% water, which means they are a great low-calorie food.

Pumpkins contain potassium and Vitamin A.

Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack, which are a good source of protein, magnesium, copper and zinc.


RECORDS

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 1,678 kg (3,699 lb). It was made by New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers (USA) at New Bremen Pumpkinfest in New Bremen, Ohio (about an hour north of Dayton) on September 25, 2010. The diameter of the pie was 6 m (20 ft). The crust was made of 440 sheets of dough and the filling ingredients were canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, salt, sugar, cinnamon and pumpkin spice. It was baked in a custom pie pan before before being served up into approximately 5,000 slices for hungry community members.

The farthest distance a pumpkin was fired is 5,545.43 ft using the Big 10 Inch air cannon in Utah, USA in 2010.

The world record for pumpkin pie eating is 20lb 13oz in eight minutes, set by Matt Stonie in 2014 at the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival.

The Guinness Book of World Records states that the fastest time to carve a face into a pumpkin was achieved by David Finkle of the United Kingdom. Finkle accomplished the feat on October 7, 2010, while filming a Halloween show for the BBC in 20.1 seconds.

Mathias Willemijns of Belgium grew the heaviest ever pumpkin. It was weighed at the Giant Pumpkin European Championship was held in Ludwigsburg, located in southwestern Germany, at 1.190,5 Kg. (or around 2,623 pounds) on October 9, 2016, This huge pumpkin was then turned into thousands of pounds of delicious pumpkin pie.



Source Muscatinejournal.com

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