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occ's avatar

Are "carving pumpkins" different from the pumpkins that you eat?

Asked by occ (4003 points ) November 13th, 2009

A friend brought over a decorative pumpkin for Halloween that we never carved. I don’t want to just throw it in the compost. Is this the same kind of pumpkin you can cook, or is there a difference? And what are some yummy recipe ideas for pumpkin (besides pumpkin pie)?

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19 Answers

sarahboreal's avatar

As far as I’m aware of, there isn’t.
Scratch that.
You can eat any pumpkin, but others will taste better. The bigger the pumpkin the worse it’ll taste because of the sugar content. You can puree the big ones for pumpkin soup or bread but for a pie you want the smaller variety that are 3 to 6 pounds.

site that explains it very well

I learned something new today.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

“Eating pumpkins” come in pie form. You can’t carve a pie.

SpatzieLover's avatar

A baking pumpkin is indeed a different variety of pumpkin. The best thing to do with a carving pumpkin is to roast the seeds.

Here’s a list of the varieties of pumpkins

For a “sugar” or baking pumpkin you can make breads, muffins, soup or ravioli with them!

Here’s a list of pumpkin recipes for you to peruse

occ's avatar

Very helpful, thanks!

erichw1504's avatar

Like @SpatzieLover said, roast the seeds, they are delicious!

nzigler's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities you’ve done it again! lurve.

nebule's avatar

Oh I have to tell you this…

Mid October I made pumpkin soup from a ‘culinary pumpkin’ and it was really sweet… [I have to say at this point I don’t ‘celebrate Halloween so I just used the seasonal food for my own purposes…a bit early] It was a bit too sweet actually… but nice all the same… then my sister who does celebrate Halloween with her children, bought a ‘carving pumkin’, carved it…and made soup…

She said to me a few days later…“I know you like soups Lynne and I have some if you want it…because my lot don’t like it”... thinking nothing of it… said “of course!...it’s probably too sweet for them…” So she gave it me… God…bless her soul it was awful… tasted like soap :-/ ...hadn’t the heart to tell her at the time… but I must slip it into a conversation between now and next year surreptitiously so she doesn’t realise… bless her…I love her so much and she’s such a good mother and woman and cook!!...it just one of those things… so YES there IS a difference! :-D xxx

I feel quite guilty now… but you just reminded me and I needed to tell someone!

skfinkel's avatar

You must toss the carved pumpkins (waster though it seems to be) since they were not intended to be eaten. Just think of as adding some good color to the compost.

The delicious pumpkins you can eat are sugar pumpkins. They are usually quite small and meaty little things, as far as pumpkins go.

Darwin's avatar

I have successfully made soup with carving pumpkins, but the eating pumpkins are sweeter and have a lot more flesh for the size of the pumpkin. Also, the flesh of carving pumpkins tends to be stringy so you have to puree and strain it.

In any case, the carving pumpkins will not only add color to your compost bin (as per @skfinkel), some of their seeds might even sprout and present you with more carving pumpkins.

dpworkin's avatar

James Beard, the wonderful American cook and cook book author admits in his “American Cooking” book, that he uses tinned pumpkin for his pies. He has done blind taste comparisons, and finds that he and his friends prefer the canned to the fresh. Just sayin’. (Not seasoned mixes; plain pumpkin puree.)

Darwin's avatar

@pdworkin – I know James Beard won a lot of awards and is highly respected even today, but sometimes the man is just wrong. For one thing, he always wants cooks to put way too much salt in his recipes.

Canned pumpkin puree certainly saves time and work, and it tastes pretty good, but there is nothing wrong with the fresh stuff, especially if you use a sugar pumpkin.

dpworkin's avatar

I love to use fresh pumpkins, too. I tole you I was just sayin’. (I like all that salt, too.)

janbb's avatar

What is it about grumpy old men and salt?

reacting_acid's avatar

I am pretty sure you can eat them. I have done it before. They are the exact same. try it and see what happens!

delirium's avatar

And reacting acid got his name because he once applied it to his tongue.

reacting_acid's avatar

@delirium How did you know?....

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Cook info! I’ve never known any different than cutting the pumpkins from the patch or grocery store into slabs and then baking them in the oven to eat as a side dish or as a desert.

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