Canned Pumpkin is Actually Winter Squash! What’s It Really Made Of?

Canned Pumpkin Is Actually Made of Squash

With yet another Thanksgiving in the books, millions of people all across the country had themselves a slice or two of pumpkin pie.  Could it be that you were actually eating a “Squash Pie?”

Many chefs absolutely love to cook with “canned pumpkin” because it has a consistent flavor and is a texture that works great in all sorts of dishes.  However, many kinds of canned pumpkin are made from one or more kinds of winter squashes such as Boston Marrow, Hubbard, and Butternut.  There are three kinds of winter squashes

  • Curcurbita pepo
  • Cucurbita maxima
  • Curcubita moschata

The Curcurbita pepo squash variety includes the versions that of what we think of as pumpkins. All winter squash are not pumpkins, but all pumpkins are winter squash. Botanically they are very similar.  If you aren’t confused by now, in some parts of the world all winter squash are called pumpkins!

You can even make “Pumpkin” dishes by using acorn or butternut squash but somehow “butternut squash pie” just doesn’t seem quite as appealing!The Differences Between Pumpkins, Gourds and SquashSummer squash has soft skin and is much more delicate. Winter squashes has a courser skin and a tougher flesh.  The tough skin and flesh of the winter squash allows it to withstand colder weather conditions.  There are many varieties of pumpkin, with several kinds looking like the “Jack-o-Lantern” pumpkins you see during the Halloween season.

To sum it up the difference between them is that a gourd is something that you look at, you carve a pumpkin, and you cook a squash. So, next year at Thanksgiving make sure that you don’t miss out on some “Squash-Spice Pie”!!

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