HISTORY OF THE PUMPKIN
The word pumpkin comes from
the Greek pepõn for a large melon. The English termed it pumpion or pompion.
This term dates back to 1547, yet it did not make an appearance in print until
1647. The pumpkin was one of the many foods used by the Native American Indians
in the new world and was a welcome discovery by the Pilgrims. The Indians
pounded strips of pumpkin flat, dried them, and wove them into mats for trading.
They also dried pumpkin for food. The new Americans heartily embraced the sweet,
multi-purpose fruit which became a traditional Thanksgiving food. The colonists
used pumpkin not only as a side dish and dessert, but also in soups and even
made beer of it. The blossoms can also be used as those of the squash family,
such as batter-dipped and fried.
Pumpkins are available in all shapes, colors and sizes, from the miniature to the
gigantic sweet sugar pumpkin which can weigh in at as much as 100 pounds. The
pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, which also includes muskmelon,
watermelon and squash. Its orange flesh has a mild, sweet flavor which is used
in side dishes and in many desserts. The seeds, known as pepitas, can be roasted
and eaten as snacks. Another by-product, pumpkin seed oil, is normally mixed
with other oils for cooking, salad dressings and other uses due to its strong
flavor and color. Fall and winter are the harvesting seasons for this tasty
fruit of a trailing vine.
Pumpkins are a tasty source of vitamins and minerals, particularly beta-carotene, vitamin
C, and potassium. It also helps prevent arterosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, which can
lead to strokes and/or heart attacks. Pumpkin seed oil and pumpkin seeds are a
good source of zinc and unsaturated fatty acids which are effective help for prostate ailments. A
study by the USDA indicated that diets high in pumpkin as a fiber source tended
to curb the appetite, yet provided more food for the same calorie count. The
subjects in this study also absorbed less fat and calories from their food. As
with all homeopathic treatments, consult your physician before dosing yourself.
The Pumpkin Patch
Celtics that lived in what is now Great Britain and Northern
France would carry a lantern when they walked on the eve of
October 31. These lanterns were carved out of big turnips and
the lights were believed to keep the evil spirits away. Children
would carve faces in the turnips. These carved turnips were
have it that the "jack-o-lantern" got its name from a
stingy and mean old man, named Jack, who when he died was too
mean to get into heaven. When Jack went to hell he was meet by
the Devil who gave him a piece of burning coal and sent him
away. Jack placed the burning coal in a turnip to use as a
lantern to light his way. The legends claim that Jack is still
walking with the lantern looking for a place to stay.
the early settlers came to America they found the big round
orange pumpkin. Being larger and much more colorful than
turnips, the pumpkin made great "jack-o-lanterns".
Eventually the pumpkin would replace the turnip.
the settlers spread across America they took their Halloween
celebrations with them. The custom of the
"jack-o-lantern" would travel with them. Eventually
the Pumpkin would become the most widely recognized symbol of
the Halloween holiday.
TO VISIT - PICK YOUR OWN.ORG