Pumpkins and squashes fall into the genus cucurbita (or gourd family); which includes pumpkins, edible summer and winter squash, edible and ornamental gourds and zucchini.
“Pumpkin” first appeared in the 17th century when the Cinderella fairy tale was written. Before then they were called “pompion”, which only goes back several hundred years. Pumpkins and squashes are native to the New World.
The official vegetable of Autumn in Southern Ontario is pumpkin and squash. Farmers markets and grocery stores are overflowing with them at this time of year. Of course this is largely due to Halloween and because no holiday feast is complete without a traditional pumpkin pie.
Common Ontario pumpkin varieties include Howden, Funny Face, Connecticut Field, Prize-winner, Jackpot Hybrid, Trick or Treat and Bushkin; which are popular around Halloween for carving.
Other varieties such as Small Sugar, Spooky and Early Cheyenne Pie are best used for cooking (most commonly pie), but are also used for decoration.
We are excited to showcase Pumpkin & Squash in our earth to table menu this month. Click here to view our current menus.
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Feast ON is a criteria-based program that recognizes businesses committed to showcasing Ontario’s unique tastes of place.