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Big Mac Pumpkin
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This item was last sold on : 10/23/20
Big Mac pumpkins are extremely large in size, averaging 45-50 centimeters in diameter and weighing 50-200 pounds, and are round with a slightly flattened or slumped shape and a round stem. The red-orange to bright orange skin is rough, deeply ribbed, and can grow up to ten centimeters thick. The yellow-orange flesh is dense, fine-grained, and encases a large central cavity with stringy pulp and many flat, cream-colored seeds. When cooked, Big Mac pumpkins are dry and fibrous with a mild, semi-sweet flavor.
Big Mac pumpkins are available in the fall through early winter.
Big Mac pumpkins, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, grow on an annual sprawling vine and are members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with squash and gourds. Also known as Big Max pumpkins, Big Mac pumpkins are a giant hybrid variety that is not a true pumpkin, but rather a squash-type pumpkin. Squash and pumpkins have a deeply intertwined history and are often used interchangeably in conversation, but botanically speaking Big Mac pumpkins are merely large-growing members of the squash family, rather than a member of the pumpkin family Cucurbita pepo. Big Mac pumpkins are predominately grown as exhibition pumpkins and are valued for their giant size and ornamental capabilities. Exhibition contestants limit one fruit per vine and use fertilizer to nurture the monster fruits. Big Mac pumpkins can also be used as a carving pumpkin during the Halloween season.
Big Mac pumpkins contain vitamin A, beta-carotene, magnesium, potassium, and some antioxidants.
Big Mac pumpkins are not commonly used for cooking or baking due to their cumbersome size and dry and fibrous flesh. However, they are edible and may be prepared similarly to smaller pumpkins. Big Mac pumpkins can be cooked and canned for later use or pureed and blended into pies. These pumpkins are excellent keepers due to their thick skin and will keep for several months when stored in a cool and dry place. They can also be frozen in slices for extended use.
William Warnock, a farmer from Ontario, is often credited with using selected seeds to develop the giant pumpkin varieties, such as the Big Mac, that is well-known today and used in competition. He grew the very first record-breaking pumpkin in 1893 which weighed in at a whopping four hundred pounds and was invited to display his oversized fruit at the World Fair in Paris, France. Warnock’s pumpkin held the record for centuries before a new variety was created known as the Atlantic giant that could reach over two thousand pounds.
Pumpkins originated in Central and South America and were introduced all over the world to Europe, Asia, and North America. The Big Mac pumpkin was believed to have been grown from selected seeds in the early 1900s by William Warnock in Goderich, Ontario. The giant hybrid variety was selected for its size and today, Big Mac pumpkins can be found through online seed catalogs, specialty grocers, and farmers markets across the United States, Canada, and Europe.