How to choose the perfect pumpkin?

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One of our favourite fall images is a small child standing beside a giant pumpkin.  Seeing the wonder in their eyes, and the excitement in their step, is one of the greatest joys a farmer can witness.


And while cuteness is certainly important, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing the perfect pumpkin.


Here are 5 tips for choosing your next pumpkin!

1. Consider the kind of pumpkin you need.

Our customers have shared that the pies they make, from their jack-o’-lanterns after Halloween, are stringy, watery, and flavourless.  This is why you need a pumpkin plan!

2. Before you carve that jack-o’-lantern.

When looking for the best jack-o’-lantern, choose a pumpkin that will decompose slowly. It should be firm and have its stem intact. If you squeeze the pumpkin, you’ll get a sense of how long it will last.  For example, if it has soft spots, it won’t last long but if it’s firm with a sturdy stem, then you have selected a prime candidate for carving.



3. When baking with pumpkins, heavier is better.

If you’re picking a culinary pumpkin, heavier is better. Pick one that feels heavy for its size because that usually means it has more flesh to cook with. A pumpkin between 4 to 8 lbs is great. Not only will you get more pumpkin pulp, but because squashes and pumpkins dehydrate through the skin, heavier pumpkins tend to become sweeter in the last few months of summer, and they keep for a long time if kept cool. The best Taves’ choices are sugar and cinderella pumpkins! If only the big carving pumpkins are available, choose a winter squash like butternut squash instead for best results! Stock up early!



4. Your freezer to the rescue!

Did you know it’s possible to freeze pumpkin pulp? Some call it pumpkin meat, flesh or glop, but we call it pumpkin pulp.  Advanced bakers recommend that you cut the pumpkin or squash pulp into chunks, bake it until it’s tender, mash it up, and then freeze the pulp in plastic bags.  Trust us, those bags of delicious pumpkin will come in handy all year long, from pies to pumpkin pancakes!



5. Don’t Let a Rotten Pumpkin go to Waste

It’s the world of 2016 and we know that waste isn’t acceptable.

Thanks to the Applebarn Taves Family Farm for providing this blog and pictures!