Pumpkin is the fruit of a plant called calabacera. In South America, the pumpkin is known as ‘zapallo’.
It belongs to a huge family of plants, the Curcubitaceae, which includes some 850 different species. Zucchini and cucumber are two of its most distinguished members, but did you know that watermelon and melon are too? Curiously enough, all of these fruits are somewhat cousins to pumpkins.
The outward appearance of pumpkins is not always the same. They can have smooth or rough skin, spherical, flattened or bottle-shaped, and the bark of different colors such as yellow, orange, or green. Instead, the flesh is almost always yellow or orange.
The most famous pumpkin species is the Curcubita Máxima, and it is not only because of its spectacular appearance and color, but also because it is the one used to make decorative lamps on Halloween. Now you know what it is, right?… The size of these pumpkins is very variable and ranges from the smallest that fit in a hand, to those that weigh tens of kilos.
It is not clear where pumpkins were first grown, but everything points to South Asia. It is also known that they have been eaten on the American continent for many centuries, and that they did not reach Europe until the XV. Fortunately, today we can find huge fields of exquisite pumpkins throughout the planet.
Pumpkin contains a lot of water, a lot of fiber, and very little fat. This means that it is great to avoid constipation and that it hardly provides calories. In addition, like carrots, it has an orange pigment called beta-carotene that is full of vitamin A, essential for protecting eyesight, skin, hair and bones.
The pumpkin is used to prepare creams with a sweet touch that babies usually love, and it gives a very good flavor to vegetable stews and many desserts. It is delicious in cakes, pastries and biscuits! Nor can we forget that the famous angel hair is obtained by cooking pumpkin with sugar.
The seeds of this fruit are pumpkin seeds, delicious and very healthy due to their high content of minerals and beneficial nutrients for our body.