Welcome to the diverse world of the humble pumpkin. Here’s how to make the most of each delicious type…
The world of pumpkins is a surprisingly diverse one. Although the typical pumpkin may conjure up an image of a strong, round and bright orange vegetable, the humble gourd actually come in a variety of colours, shapes, and sizes.
From kent to butternut, here are a few of our favourite types of pumpkins, and a few tips on how to make the most of their unique textures, flavour profiles and best qualities:
Also known as Jap pumpkins, these sweet varieties are perfect for salads and baked dishes. They’re not entirely orange, boasting more of a mottled grey and green exterior, with darker yellow flesh. To retain the depth of flavour they’re famous for, kent pumpkins are best cooked whole, in their tough skin, before scooping out the seeds and putting the soft flesh to use.
We like butternut pumpkins best when they’re roasted, but this hardy oblong variety is one of the most versatile options in the pumpkin aisle. Butternuts are a little sweeter, dryer and can be turned into soups, roasted with cinnamon or put to use in most cooked pumpkin dishes. They’re quite pale on the outside, but the flesh is often a deep orange and makes for a wonderful nutty flavour burst.
Bold flavours don’t necessarily need big sizes. These beige and green dumpling pumpkins are a single-serve favourite, small enough to serve as individual, whole vegetables. This variety pairs well with creamy and sweet flavours – the simple addition of butter and honey in the roasting pan draws out the pumpkin’s best qualities. Why not try stuffing individual ones with a hearty creamed sweetcorn mixture and baking in high heats?
Queensland Blue Pumpkins
Big, bold and as blue as the neighbouring ocean, these large greyish pumpkins are a firm winter favourite. They’re incredibly hardy and relatively easy to grow – thriving on compost and providing a high yield when given enough sunlight and space. The QLD blue is perfect in baked dishes and also lends itself really well to boiling, making it great for mashes and soups.