In line with its various uses, pumpkins come in different varieties. Numerous types of pumpkins can be used for the dish, baked goods, or even decoration in some special events.
Pumpkins are classified into several types or categories according to colors (orange, blue, white, green, and red), size (miniatures, small, and large or giant pumpkins) and special features (cheese pumpkins and warty or pimpled pumpkins). Here you can find out more about specialties and popular varieties of each type.
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Classic Orange Pumpkins
While pumpkin colors vary greatly depending on its varieties, orange pumpkin always becomes the classic example of this vegetable. Presently, there are hundreds of varieties and sub-varieties of orange pumpkins, including hybrid and traditional. Some famous examples of this classic type are Jack O’ Lantern, Jumpin’ Jack, Harvest Moon, Winter Luxury, Big Autumn, and Sugar Pumpkin.
They are characterized by yellowish-orange skin and buttery flesh. Some of them have smooth skins that are good for carving or painting. Meanwhile, some other types like Sugar Pumpkin and Winter Luxury are used for pies or cookies.
The skin color of blue pumpkin usually ranges from light to dark blue with white or orange stripes. Most varieties of this type are originated from the continents of Asia and Australia. Two of them, namely Kakai and Kabocha, are cultivated in Japan and become the country’s favorite export. Kakai is well-known for its blue seeds that can be roasted. Meanwhile, Kabocha or Japanese pumpkin is popular for its sweet flavor and firm texture.
Another variety of blue pumpkin is Jarrahdale or Jaradale. Native to Australia, this variety has light blue skin and flattened shape. Because of its mild flavor and creamy texture, Jarrahdale is often chosen as the main ingredient to make pumpkin pie.
White pumpkins are usually used for display during the fall season to welcome Halloween and Thanksgiving. Because of their pale and shady white skin, they are also called ghostly pumpkins. Some popular varieties of white pumpkins include Casper or Casperita, Baby Boo, and White Pie.
Casper is not only good for carving but also an excellent ingredient for pie and baked goods. This variety has the medium size, unlike Baby Boo and White Pie that belong to the miniature pumpkin.
Green pumpkin shares several similarities to squash. Both of them are edible and have hard, dark green skin. Among several varieties of green pumpkins, Fairytale pumpkin is considered the most popular. It belongs to the French heirloom variety and has sweet, creamy flavor.
The skin of fairytale pumpkin is dark green, but it will turn into pale orange as the vegetable grows older. Meanwhile, the color of its flesh is bright orange.
Red pumpkin with the shades of orange looks fresh and excellent, making it a good choice for delicious dishes or decorative display. This pumpkin type comes in numerous varieties, but the most popular ones are Cinderella and Lakota.
As you might guess, Cinderella pumpkin is named after the famous fairytale. Its shape and color resemble the pumpkin that was turned into a carriage by the fairy godmother. Cinderella pumpkin can be cooked as a pie or stacked into several layers or piles for Halloween decoration.
Miniatures or tiny pumpkin are the smallest variety of pumpkin. Their size can fit into the palm of your hand, or maybe less. Because of this, they are mostly used as decoration rather than processed or cooked as a dish. Some famous varieties of miniature pumpkins are Munckin, Jack be Little, and Sweetie Pie. Baby Boo, a well-known white pumpkin also belongs to this category.
Other pumpkin varieties besides miniatures are small pumpkins. Sweet Sugar Pie and Wee Be Little are some examples of this variety. In general, they only weigh around 5-10 pounds. In addition to carving and painting, small pumpkins can be used for baking, mashing, and cooking. Unlike miniatures, they have sweet and fine taste despite its small size.
Large and Giant Pumpkins
Several varieties of pumpkins fall within the category of giant vegetables. They are also called tall pumpkin because of their enormous size. Dill’s Atlantic Giant, for instance, is claimed as the biggest and largest pumpkin variety in the world. At the very least, its weight can reach up to a thousand pounds.
Besides Dill’s, other varieties of pumpkins with enormous size are Atlantic Giant, Big Moon, Harvest Jack, and Connecticut Field Pumpkin. However, most giant pumpkins are not cultivated for daily consumption. They are mostly grown for annual competition or harvest festival in some regions.
Cheese pumpkins consist of several colors such as orange and yellow pumpkin. This type of pumpkin gets its name because its shape looks like wheels of cheese. Two most famous varieties in this category are Long Island Cheese and Musee de Provence.
Cultivated since the nineteenth century, Long Island Cheese has pale yellow skin and deep orange flesh. This variety is edible and famous for its sweet taste. Likewise, Musee de Provence also tastes good with its rich and creamy texture. It is originated from France and often sold in slices instead of in rounded whole fruit.
Warty or Pimpled Pumpkins
Most varieties of warty or pimpled pumpkins are hybrid. As the name infers, this pumpkin type does not have smooth skin. Instead, its outer layer is textured and filled with small warts or pimples. One of the most well-known varieties of pimpled pumpkins is Marina di Chioggia. Originated from Italy, this pumpkin has thick, warty skin and yellowish-orange flesh.
Another popular variety is Galeux d’Eysines or pink pumpkins. The warts of Galeux are formed like peanut shells. Despite its warty skin, this pumpkin has a pleasant scent and creamy flavor, a perfect choice for pumpkin soup.
Whether it is cooked for a dish or carved for decoration, you can always use pumpkins for different events and occasions. More importantly, learning about different types of pumpkins can help you decide the most suitable type for your need. Therefore, you will end up with the best pumpkin to be consumed or displayed.