Pumpkin is native to America but is cultivated widely in the UK too. It can grow to an enormous size, and although the huge ones are very often sold for Hallowe’en lanterns, the flesh is edible and there are many varieties, shape and sizes.
Most pumpkins will be sold in October and November for the Hallowe’en period. Watch our video on how to carve a pumpkin.
Buy a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size. Smaller sizes will have a more intense flavour and are more suitable for cooking.
Cut off the top and scoop out the seeds and fibres. They can either be baked whole, or peeled and cut into slices or cubes to add to stews, soups and risottos as well as pureed and baked with spices for the traditional pumpkin pie. The seeds can also be rinsed, toasted and seasoned as a snack. Try making a delicious pumpkin tart.
Pumpkins will keep well for at least a month in a cool, dry place. Once cut, they should be stored in the fridge and used within a few days.