A widely known food in our kitchens and that is undoubtedly emblematic in a large number of various culinary preparations and daily recipes, through which you can achieve an abundant amount of specialties and dishes. The plant that generates this fruit is called pumpkin and belongs to the cucurbit family and is available in an immense amount of colors, shapes and sizes, being an excellent source of vitamins , minerals and antioxidants .
Types of pumpkins that exist
Although the pumpkin season is in the fall, they are divided into winter and summer varieties. As a general rule, winter squashes maintain a tough skin and pulp while summer squashes enjoy offering you a soft skin and an extremely juicy pulp that is lighter in structure. Among the most commercial and well-known types of pumpkins that exist, I can mention you:
The Butternut, Violin or Peanut
It is currently the most cultivated pumpkin in Spain and the one with the greatest exponential growth in the last decade. It is also known under the name of “squash” and is perfectly elongated with a very smooth and light-colored skin. Maintaining a shape with a very wide base and a pulp characterized by its bright orange color.
It is one of the pumpkins that best accepts variations in relation to its versatility for kitchens as well as flexible for a large number of recipes and gourmet quality dishes thanks to the firmness of its pulp and the extremely sweet flavor it maintains.
They generally maintain an elongated shape and a dark green color, although there are also yellow or light green versions. This variety of pumpkin is distinguished by its high internal moisture content and is perfect for preparing stews as well as tapas where they are filled with various preparations. This variant of pumpkin maintains flowers that are equally edible and highly appreciated by connoisseurs, they are usually eaten stuffed and then fried.
La Vasca or Mallorca
A pumpkin that is very reminiscent of the shape of a peanut and that can have a well elongated body. Their skin is dark green and can include elongated stripes of a much lighter green and often yellowish tones. Its pulp is orange in color with shades from intense to dark and is noted for its nutritional value.
The Butter Squash
Its most distinctive characteristic is its orange skin and flesh, this variety offers you an excellent and highly accentuated sweet flavor and is perfect to be used in both savory and sweet dishes. Butternut squash is very popular because it can be steamed , cooked, roasted, or mashed into a puree.
The use of its seeds as a tasty and edible snack as a snack is also outstanding, these seeds are roasted and you can perfectly add them to your soups, salads or be consumed directly, due to their not very robust pulp it is important to roast them leaving their skin on.
When you need to choose pumpkins it is important that the skin is firm and that it is free of bumps and cuts. Pumpkins can keep perfectly well (while closed) for at least 1 month at room temperature.
La De Castilla
They stand out mainly for their large size, many of them up to 1 meter wide and with a characteristically elliptical shape. Its skin has very pronounced furrows and is of good thickness in addition to maintaining an extremely reddish pulp. In relation to its color, it can vary in shades that can range from blackish green to dark orange.
This variety is mainly used to prepare the famous pumpkin sweets that obviously can vary from one region to another as well as to be added to meat broths or stews.
The Maximum Cucurbita
The iconic Halloween pumpkin and ultra known thanks to its use in these famous festivities. Round and flattened with a very varied size and capable of reaching quite prominent dimensions, its skin is rough and very hard and is perfectly covered by grooves of a certain depth throughout its structure.
The pumpkin and its season
It is important to establish certain criteria to determine the pumpkin season, it is by history it has always been established in autumn , although it is perfectly possible to achieve it at any time of the year. Thanks to the fact that there are varieties that are perfectly cultivable in summer and even in winter.
This full multifaceted and versatile quality of pumpkin makes it ideal to achieve countless culinary solutions where you can prepare dishes by combining it precisely with broccoli , potatoes and carrots to acquire countless nutritional, dietary and medicinal benefits as well as large doses of antioxidants .