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Perfect Pumpkin Picks for the Adventurous Shopper

Perfect Pumpkin Picks for the Adventurous Shopper
Photo by Rush Jagoe

Picking a pumpkin from a patch is all seasonal fun, but remember pumpkin picking doesn’t have to pause there (Peter)! Farmers markets are full of heirloom and unusual varietals of the gourd, and part of the fun is finding something unusual that you can take home and use creatively in the kitchen. We’ve provided a list of some of our faves, from pale to one fit for a princess, for your next market scavenger hunt.

  1. Cinderella Pumpkin / Vividly red and a distinct semi-flattened shape that looks as if it would be the perfect candidate for Cinderella’s carriage, it was originally cultivated in France after conquistadors were introduced to the vegetable by Native Americans. Cook it in a variety of ways and use it for décor for a bit before you do – it keeps very well .
  2. Jarrahdale / An unusual color might be the first thing you notice about this beauty, but once you taste it, you’ll remember it for its nutty, sweet, stringless flesh.
  3. Kabocha / A dark green skin striped with some yellow or light green and a flavor that is a bit of a cross between a sweet potato and pumpkin, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service suggests that they can be kept at room temperature for up to a month without refrigeration.
  4. Kakai / Austrian pumpkin known for its green color and hullless seeds. While the flesh does not have a good taste, the seeds are delicious roasted or used as a garnish.
  5. Casper / This ghostly pumpkin is completely white in color and makes delicious pies. If you can find it, it also makes a elegant jack-o-lantern. Remember to roast those seeds, too!
  6. La Estrella / This variety of tropical pumpkin was first cultivated by the University of Florida. It has a similar taste to butternut squash, but resembles a green version of the familiar Halloween pumpkin.

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