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Blue pumpkins are medium to large in size, averaging 15-25 centimeters in diameter and weighing 6-10 pounds, and are round to oblate in shape with a flattened blossom and stem end. The smooth rind is firm, deeply-ribbed and can range in color from dark green to a dusty blue-green with a light brown, rough stem. The flesh is thick, dense, deep orange, and encases a central cavity filled with pulp and flat, cream-colored seeds. Blue pumpkins are aromatic and are known for their mildly fruity, sweet flesh. When cooked, they have a smooth, dry, and string-less texture.
Blue pumpkins are available in the fall.
Blue pumpkins, botanically classified as Cucurbita maxima, grow on annual, long sprawling vines that can grow up to nine meters in length and are members of the Cucurbitaceae family along with gourds and squash. There are many different varieties of Blue pumpkins including Queensland Blue, Australian Blue, Jarrahdale, Blue Doll, Blue Moon, and Blue Lakota. Blue pumpkins are extremely popular in Australia and New Zealand where they are prized as a cooking pumpkin because of their thick flesh and superior flavor. Blue pumpkins are also favored for their unusual dusty blue-green rinds and contrasting bright orange flesh.
Blue pumpkins contain beta-carotene, fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium.
Blue pumpkins are best suited for cooked applications such as baking, roasting, boiling, and steaming. They can be used in both sweet and savory preparations, but their sweet flavor lends itself best to desserts and baked goods such as pie fillings, scones, and cakes. Blue pumpkins can also be cooked and blended into soups, stews, and curries or cooked and added to risotto, gnocchi, ravioli, salads, and pasta dishes. In addition to the flesh, Blue pumpkin seeds can be cleaned and roasted as a toasted snack. Blue pumpkins pair well with onion, garlic, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, rosemary, thyme, cinnamon, coconut oil, honey, zucchini, quinoa, dried cranberries, and meats such as poultry, sausage, and turkey. They will keep for 3-6 months when stored in a cool and dry place.
Many Blue pumpkin varieties were created in Australia and later introduced to the rest of the world. In Australia, the term pumpkin can refer to any type of winter squash, and these fruits are grown in every territory, except for the capital territory, on the continent. Queensland and New South Wales produce the majority of the fruit and have been developing new varieties to create a wide selection for the market. Pumpkin sales have been increasing in Australia due to the newfound interest in celebrating Halloween. As pumpkin carving and using pumpkins as front of the house decorations is gaining in popularity, the majority of the pumpkins grown in Australia are purchased domestically.
Pumpkins are native to Central and South America and were spread across the world via expeditions and trade routes. The exact date that pumpkins were introduced to Australia is unknown, but the country did create many of the famous varieties of Blue pumpkin that are well-known today such as the Queensland Blue which was introduced to the United States in 1932. Blue pumpkins can be found at farmers markets and specialty grocers in Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.
Recipes that include Blue Pumpkins. One is easiest, three is harder.