So much more than a Jack O’Lantern in waiting, make the most of your pumpkin this Halloween
The symbol of a season on the turn, a tool to ward off evil spirits and the fodder of fairytales – pumpkins are probably the most famous of all the winter squash, but are they the most delicious?
Related to cucumbers, courgettes and melons – and technically a fruit – these hardy squash come in a spectrum of shapes, sizes and colours, from dusky blues and creamy yellows to egg-yolk orange and moss green.
Pumpkins, which are native to America, are best known for their part in the Thanksgiving tradition (puréed with warming winter spices, as the filling for a sweet pie) or disembowelled and carved for Halloween.
They can be brewed into beer, grated into cakes, or simply mashed with butter – even the leaves and seeds can be eaten. But would you recognise the right squash for the job?
Extracted from Taste: The Infographic Book of Food by Laura Rowe, illustrations by Vicki Turner (Aurum Press, £20)