It’s biggest claim to fame is it’s annual gig as ‘Jack’o Lantern’ but this popular autumn fruit (yes, fruit) is not just a pretty..err…scary toothy face. The pumpkin has a lot going for it! Check out these random fun facts :
1. Jack-O-lanterns were originally made out of turnips and potatoes, by the Irish. When they came to America they discovered that a pumpkin was a better choice. Carving a pumpkin definitely seems more fun than a potato.
2. Pumpkin flowers are edible, and yummy. Pumpkin flower quesadillas are common in Mexico and are great in salads.
3. The only continent where a pumpkin will not grow is Antarctica.
4. The original pumpkin pie recipe was started by American colonists. The pumpkin was cleaned out, the stem cut off and filled with milk, honey and spices and then it was baked with hot ashes.
5. Some North American indigenous groups flattened and dried pumpkin to make mats out of.
6. Pumpkins were once called ‘pompions‘ from the Greek word ‘pepon’.
7. A large pumpkin had a significant role in the fairy tale: Cinderella. It did not have a speaking part. (Hey it COULD have. The mice did.).
8. Pumpkins were once used as a cure for snakebites and… freckles.
9. The seeds are considered to be darn healthy for you. They are packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and numerous health promoting antioxidants.
10. ‘The Great Pumpkin’ is a magical holiday figure similar to Santa Claus that delivers presents on Halloween. Well…or so Linus of ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown‘ tells us. Nothing like Charlie Brown holiday specials to stir up the nostalgia.
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY JACK-O-LANTERN PHOTOS TO SHARE?
I like to mix it up a bit and make things other than faces myself. Here are a couple of ones I have made in the last few years:
Now, for some pumpkin works of art that don’t look like they were made by children (or a drunk adult), have a look at these from maniacpumkincarvers.com. AMAZING pumpkin carvings! I love the Van Gogh and Klimpt ones..and of course the Day of the Dead inspired one.
Need some inspiration? Here are some cool patterns and ideas.
I will leave you with a recipe for Dulce de Calabaza (Pumpkin Candy) that is a autumn treat here in Mexico. Try it out!
I would love to see photos of YOUR pumpkin carvings! Or if anyone has any great pumpkin recipes, please SHARE!