Picking the perfect pumpkin (say that five times fast) is an essential part of fall. Many of us have yearly fall traditions that include venturing out to our favorite farms, searching for the holy grail of pumpkins.
What criteria qualify a pumpkin as perfect? We did a little research and came up with some tips to help you find the most sought-out qualities in perfect pumpkins.
Choose the Best Color
Test for Ripeness
Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s your perfect pumpkin! Knocking on a pumpkin can tell you how ripe it is. If it is hollow, it is ripe and ready. If it answers you back, it is haunted. Drop it and run!
Is it Mushy?
Pumpkins turn soft and mushy when they are going bad. Flip the pumpkin and check the bottom first. This area tends to ripen the fastest and will give you the first signs of decay.
Fun Pumpkin Facts:
Pumpkins are part of the winter squash family native to Mexico. A quick wiki search tells us they are one of the oldest, domesticated plants dating back to 5000 BC.
In the United States, 800 million pumpkins are ready for picking in the month of October.* goodhousekeeping.com
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin in U.S History weighed in at a whopping 2,528 pounds. That is a lot of pumpkin pie!
Does it Have a Stem?
A stem is one of the most important aesthetics of a perfect pumpkin. When they are picked and moved to the store from the fields, sometimes they break off. But, if you are lucky enough to find one with a nice stem, make sure it is firm and secure.
Look for a Smooth Face
A smooth surface, free of warts (knuckleheads) are the best pumpkins for carving. Did you know that the custom of carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween originated in Ireland in the 19th century?
Now that you found your perfect pumpkin, what will you do with it?
Roasting Pumpkin Seeds
The average pumpkin has 90-150 seeds. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein and potassium. When baked, they make a delicious snack.
All-things Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin-spice and everything nice is what fall is all about. From coffee to beer and baked goods, stores are full of pumpkin flavors. If you are a pumpkin baked goods lover, try this delicious recipe we found for the perfect pumpkin muffins. ( LINK TO RECIPE )
Carving a Jack-o-Lantern
Carving a jack-o-lantern is like a form of art. While the traditional triangle eyes and crooked teeth will forever be associated with carving pumpkins, today’s designs are much more advanced. Spooky scenes, phrases, team logos, and even family portraits are some of the most popular carved designs.
Now that you know how to pick the perfect pumpkin, what will you make? Share your pumpkin stories wearing your SUAVS with us!