Carving pumpkins vs. sugar/pie pumpkins?

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Carving pumpkins vs. sugar/pie pumpkins?

Unread postby Black Mage » Sat Sep 23, 2006 11:07 pm

Fall is here, and with it has come the season for carving and cooking pumpkins. I am one of those picky people who can't call a pumpkin pie truly, 100% homemade if it contains canned pumpkin (or uses a pre-made crust, but that's beside the point). Hence, I like to make my own pumpkin pureé.

As you may know, a lot of recipes that call for pumpkin, specify a sugar or pie pumpkin. My problem is that most grocery stores and produce shop/stands in my area fail to properly label thier pumpkins. Often times I'll see a pile of large "jack o'lantern pumpkins" along side a bin of small un-named pumpkins. Most tell me that any small pumpkins is by default a sugar/pie pumpkins. However, I'm not fully convinced of this.

Isn't the sugar/pie pumpkin a separate species of pumpkin? My experience has told me that carving species pumpkins are generally wetter inside and very slippery. And that sugar/pie pumpkins, because they contain higher amounts of sugar, are dryer and stickier inside.

Does this hold true? Are the two varieties of pumpkins one in the same, or different species? Is there any other way to tell, aside from cutting it open?
"Nothing on Earth so beautiful as the final haul on Halloween night." - Steve Almond
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Black Mage
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Unread postby cheftaz » Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:33 am

Most tell me that any small pumpkins is by default a sugar/pie pumpkins. However, I'm not fully convinced of this.

I am not convinced either
Isn't the sugar/pie pumpkin a separate species of pumpkin?

Yes it is. There are many different varieties of pumpkins.
A sugar/pie pumpkin is often referred to as a spookie and/or spooktacular pumpkin. These normally only grow to 3-5 lbs. The flesh is bright orange, meatier than carving kins, and much less fibreous.
I don't know how to tell, other than knowing they are smaller, without cutting into them. You just got to rely on the store or grower to know I guess
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