Questions from the audience.

I was chatting with Steve earlier today about pumpkin season and he asked, “answer me this: is a pumpkin just a type of squash?”

Great question, Steve. Because I’m equal parts food-lover and research nerd, I decided to dig a little deeper into the root of this question.

So, what do the zucchini, acorn squash, and a jack o’ lantern have in common? Well, besides being big hard vegetables, they all come from the most badass genus (a.k.a mafia family) this side of the Atlantic: the Curcubita. The Curcubita genus is native to the Americas. When Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he was simultaneously sailing toward great squashdom. In fact, one blogger even goes so far as to say that the Curcubita family is the most economically important member of the gourd family. So not only are the gourds good to eat, they are also the richest, most blingin’ veggie in the garden.

This genus is influential and includes most of the well-known squashes including the pumpkin that you’ll soon be carving, cooking or chucking. But wait, there’s more. Not all pumpkins are the same, or even have the same scientific titles (a.k.a. rap names). All pumpkins are summer squashes and are either a Curcubita Maxima, Cucurbita mixta, a Cucurbita moschata or a Cucurbita pepo – the pepo being the cutest most easily pronounceable name – so I declare the C. pepo the winner. But, pepo, stay away from those nasty scab lesions…ugh. It’s the sexually transmitted disease of the garden beds.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in autumn, food. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Questions from the audience.

  1. stvmllr says:

    I thought I phrased the question like “Aren’t pumpkins just a type of squash?”

    You know, to make it look like I already knew what I was talking about…

  2. heatherdaniel says:

    I have the gmail chat to prove the conversation went like so:
    me: yeah, but your enchiladas were great
    i picked up a spaghetti squash today. maybe i’ll
    blog about that tonight
    steve: i know
    that sounds too closely related to the pumpkin
    5:00 PM me: it’s squash month
    5:01 PM steve: answer me this: is pumpkin just a type of squash?
    me: yes
    squash, zuchinni, pumpkins, gourds…i think they are all the same family
    5:02 PM Ok, i’m going running
    I promised i would
    5:03 PM steve: blog about me knowing that

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