Random Pumpkin Facts

The Pumpkin is a member of the gourd family (cucurbits) and is native to Central America and Mexico. Pumpkins have been cultivated since at least 7,000 B.C.

China leads the world in pumpkin production with 6.3 million metric tons annually. India (3.5 million tons), Russian (950,000 tons), the U.S., (750,000 tons) and Egypt (650,000 tons) round out the top five pumpkin producers.

The total U.S. pumpkin production (2008 stats) is valued at around 141 million. The top five producing states are Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and California (in that order).

Pumpkin flowers are edible.

Pumpkins are 90% water.

Pumpkins were once thought to clear freckles and cure snakebites.

Christopher Columbus carried pumpkin seeds on his return trips to Europe.

Pumpkin carving (i.e. Jack o'Lanterns) is thought to have originiated from Irish immigrants to Americal. People in Ireland would carve faces in turnips, in an effort to keep evil spirits away. However, Irish immigrants switched to pumpkins, which are much easier to carve.

Early European colonists in America would hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with apples, spices, sugar, milk and honey for baking. This is thought to be the forerunner to today's pumpkin pie.

The first cookbook written and published in America (Amelia Simmons' "American Cookery", 1796) contained the first written recipe for pumpkin pie.

The word "pumpkin" is thought to be derived from "pepon," the Greek word for "large melon."

The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed in at 1,818.5 pounds and was grown in Quebec, Canada in 2011.

The largest pumpkin pie every made weighed over 350 pounds and was over 5 feet in diameter. Over 80 pounds of pumpkins used to make the filling.

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