Storage & Cooking

It's pumpkin time!

Tens of thousands of pumpkins are sold in Ireland every year. While we all love to carve and display these gorgeous gourds, not many of us think of them as food. We asked our Instagram followers and found that only 30% of people make something to eat from their Halloween pumpkins, similar to a study in the UK last year.

Here are some ways you can get the most out of your pumpkin:

1. Buy a tasty pumpkin!

Many of the large cheap pumpkins available in supermarkets at this time of the year are of varieties that have been bred to grow large for carving. While they are just as edible as any pumpkin, they may not be as tasty. Keep an eye out for smaller pumpkins. The skin on smaller pumpkins is edible…no need to peel! We can recommend the Crown Prince variety. It’s grown in Ireland and it’s especially delicious.

2. Try a turnip

Did you know that the original carving vegetable of choice was the turnip? The ‘ghost turnip’ pictured below is on display at the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar. Turnips were carved in celebration of the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain which inspired Halloween. It is thought that when Irish immigrants moved to the U.S., the practice was continued using pumpkins instead of turnips.

Image: A ‘Ghost Turnip’ on display at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life

3. Pick a pumpkin

There are a number of pumpkin patches in Ireland and midterm is the perfect time to organise a visit. Seeing pumpkins growing outside might inspire you to grown your own! Check out some of the options…

Popular Places for Pumpkin Picking in Ireland

If you have plans to buy a pumpkin and you haven’t decided what to do with it, there are plenty of recipes and ideas out there. Here are just a few. Pumpkins will be around even after Halloween. Any pumpkin that doesn’t get eaten can be composted or put in a brown bin.

Banner photograph by Marius Ciocirlin (@MadeByMarius) via Unsplash

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