Did you know that the zucchini is a member of the pumpkin family? And that pumpkins have possibly been grown and domestized by man for 10 000 years? Therefore this vegetable has accompanied us for quite a long time. And which time of the year would be more suitable than autumn to have a closer look at this vegetable and its seeds that are riping right now?
America is the home of the pumpkin, but nowadays it is grown on all continents. The most abundant pumpkin harvest will be obtained in regions with a high grade of insolation and much rain. As pumpkins (usually after a year) are moreover over-sensitive to severe cold most of them will give up their ghost before winter. But first they will enchant us with their colourful seeds, called „Panzerbeeren“ officially.
In numerous regions in Europe and the USA year after year regional and national competitions take place, where the most gigantic super-pumpkin will be elected. Since 2014 Beni Meier from Switzerland holds the actual record with a pumpkin weighing 1.054 kilos and a size of 5.72 metres. For a tiny pumpkin seed experts then paid 100 Euros, a such succcessful seed is highly desired by pumpkin-breeders.
Most pumpkins, however, don’t fill our purse but our stomach. And for good reason. This autumn vegetable stands for genuine power-food indeed: 100 gr. contain only 25 calories, moreover much beta-carotine, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron and rich roughage. And, of course, you can turn it into a delicious soup. But the pumpkin can be of great use in your kitchen as well, think of puree, chutney or oil. If you like you can test it in our restaurant DUKE at any time.
It’s not only size and taste that turns the pumpkin into something special. The trend towards making lanterns out of pumpkins and placing their scary faces into the window is getting more and more applause here, too. Originally this tradition derives from Ireland. According to the local saga the scoundrel Jack Oldfield was given a turnip and a glowing piece of charcoal by the devil to help him find his way through the night. In the USA the turnip turned into a pumpkin which until today is known as Jack O’Lantern, turning Halloween into a spooky light.