Pumpkins belong to autumn like a Christmas tree to December, but which of the many pumpkin varieties are edible? And how do the different types differ? All information about edible pumpkins.
Which pumpkin varieties are edible?
A distinction is made between the edible squashes and the purely decorative ornamental squashes. The edible pumpkin varieties are very different in taste and consistency of the pulp and are used for different dishes. Pure ornamental gourds are not edible because they contain cucurbitacins. These bitter substances are toxic and even small amounts can cause gastrointestinal problems or vomiting.
Pumpkin Classics: These are the 5 tastiest edible pumpkins
There is a large variety of edible squashes, over 50 different squashes are known – these are the 5 most popular varieties:
1. Hokkaido with a more edible skin than an uncomplicated squash
The small, orange-red pumpkin is also known as Uchiki Kuri and Red Kuri and is an integral part of German supermarkets in autumn. The special thing about Hokkaido is: You can eat the shell. For squash soup or oven squash, simply remove the seeds, wash the squash, and cook as usual. The skin will be soft enough to puree or just eat. It has a light chestnut aroma and is wonderful for use in casseroles, soups, and other oven dishes.
2. Butternut is great for soups and desserts
The butternut squash is certainly one of the most famous pumpkins. The yellow fruit is bell-shaped and has a particularly intense-tasting pulp that is often used in soups thanks to its sweet aroma. There are many different variants of the butternut or butternut: The Tiana is mini butternut squash that has the same bell-shaped appearance as the butternut squash and is great for decorating pumpkin dishes. A honeynet is also a small form of the butternut squash, its flesh is particularly sweet and is therefore well suited for desserts such as cakes or sweets.
3. Oil pumpkin as the basic ingredient of pumpkin seed oil
The popular pumpkin seed oil is obtained from the seeds of the oil pumpkin. The special thing about this variety is that the pumpkin seeds have no skin and contain high-quality pumpkin seed oil, which is then sold pressed as pumpkin seed oil. Oil pumpkins can look very different. However, the variety always has soft, green-yellow skin. The Glemsford oil pumpkin is small and round with yellow skin and irregular green stripes. The seeds of the oil pumpkin taste slightly nutty and can also be eaten roasted as pumpkin seeds. A classic in a salad or a real treat as a sweet, caramel variant at the fair.
4. Atlantic Giant is the popular Halloween pumpkin
The so-called giant squash can weigh up to 650 kilograms. It’s a popular grower because the large specimens are great for carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween. Its yellow flesh is particularly suitable for canning, but also soups and purees. The Jack O’Lantern variety is also particularly popular for Halloween. This variety is ideal for hollowing out and is therefore often used for Halloween lanterns. The pulp is ideal for soups.
5. Spaghetti squash as a plant-based alternative to spaghetti
The special thing about this pumpkin is that the light yellow flesh breaks down into spaghetti-like fibers after cooking. A calorie-saving alternative for all spaghetti lovers. It tastes slightly nutty and can be wonderfully combined with strong sauces. Its taste is particularly emphasized by chili, muscary, curry, and cumin.
Insider tips among the edible pumpkins
1. Baby Bear is perfect for the balcony
A mini pumpkin with a cute name and a bright orange color. One advantage of the mini pumpkin: it fits comfortably in one hand and can therefore be grown in a small space, for example on the balcony or terrace. The pulp is particularly tasty and well-suited for stews and hearty dishes. But soups, purees, and jams are also delicious with this pumpkin.
2. Microwave pumpkin as a quick and easy pumpkin variant
This pumpkin has a very special feature: it cooks very quickly. Simply scoop out the seeds, clean the squash, and brush with oil. Then microwave for five minutes and it’s ready to eat. Tastes great as an accompaniment to the game, but also as a vegetarian version with other vegetables.
3. Delicata as a mild squash
The Delicata is a summer squash that is harvested immaturely. Its taste is therefore milder than that of other pumpkin varieties. It has a slightly nutty note, tastes sweet and fruity, and is therefore ideal for cakes, ice cream, and desserts, but hearty dishes such as salads, baked pumpkin, or soups are also possible.
4. Weinheber Kittenberger: Perfect for decoration
The special thing about this pumpkin is, on the one hand, its shape: the Kittenberger wine lifter is, as the name suggests, shaped like a wine lifter. The second special feature is that you can dry the pumpkin and use it as a storage container. Its taste is light and not so intense. It is particularly suitable for light pumpkin notes, in casseroles or purees.
5. Muscat de Provence is a squash that can be eaten raw
The light orange nutmeg pumpkin from France is one of the most popular varieties in its homeland. It is particularly aromatic and the flesh is nice and firm and has an intense orange color. It tastes particularly good in combination with herbs, e.g. rosemary or herbs de Provence. The great thing is that you can also eat it raw. But also cooked, whether as a soup or casserole, the nutmeg pumpkin is an intense and delicious companion for the fall.