Nothing says Halloween or Fall more than a bright orange pumpkin. The pumpkin is the most beloved symbol of the season and along with that comes some interesting facts that you might not have known.
Here are some interesting facts about Pumpkins.
Pumpkins are fruits, not vegetables. Fruits are considered to be the part of the plant that has seeds on the inside. By this definition, a pumpkin is a fruit and a member of the gourd family. The gourd family includes other fruits like winter squash and watermelon.
Pumpkins grow almost everywhere. Pumpkins are grown on six of the seven continents including Alaska. The only continent where pumpkins cannot grow is Antarctica.
More than 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced in the United States and 80% of this crop are picked within one single month of the year, October. The top-producing states are Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Morton, Illinois is the self-proclaimed “Pumpkin Capital” of the world because its home to the Libby’s Corporation.
The word “pumpkin” showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella. A French explorer in 1584 first called them “gros melon” which translates to “pompions” in English. According to history, it wasn’t until the 17th century that they were first referred to as pumpkins.
The original Jack-O-Lantern were made with turnips and potatoes by the Irish. Irish immigrants brought their customs and traditions to America and later found out that pumpkins were easier to carve.
The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighted 3,699 pounds. Pumpkin Pie was nowhere to be found at the original Thanksgiving feast of 1621. At that time, there was no way to make the pie crust or even cook the pies. Historians believed Pilgrims may have hollowed out pumpkins to fill them with milk, spices, and honey for a custard like dessert.
The world’s heaviest pumpkin weighted over 2,600 pounds. The largest pumpkin was grown in Germany and was presented in October 2016.
National Pumpkin Day is celebrated every October 26th. The unofficial holiday is celebrated annually and serves as a day to give thanks for the squash that has been a huge part of the North American heritage.
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