Colorful displays of fall pumpkins, straw bales, and gourds signal a festive change of seasons as we transition into autumn. One can’t help but marvel at the range of colors, shapes, and sizes available from a vegetable we collectively refer to as a “squash”.
The traditional orange carving pumpkin has been joined by a wide assortment of heirloom, fancy varieties that are often left uncarved and used as decoration (actually, the tradition of carving a jack-o’-lantern originally used a turnip, but that’s another story). Many of these “fancy” types have official names that harken to their unique shape or color such as ‘Blue Doll’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Porcelain Doll Pink’, ‘Fairy Tale’, ‘Casper’, and ‘Warty Goblin’. Not all of them are ideal for carving, but there are many ways to enjoy a pumpkin—stacked on top of one another, arranged with pots of mums or straw bales and cornstalks, used for craft projects like succulent pumpkin centerpieces, or turned into a yummy pie or delicious soup.
Although the traditional carving varieties may be easy to cut, they often have a grainy texture or bland flavor and are not great for eating, except for maybe the seeds.
- Cinderella is aptly named; bright red-orange with a flattened top and deeply ribbed; it has semi-sweet, moist flesh that is great for soups and pies.
- Porcelain Doll Pink is pink and slightly square with deep ribs and bright orange, sweet flesh; great for pies and gourmet recipes.
- Casper is a round, smooth, white pumpkin with only slight ribbing; it doesn’t last long once carved, so best left uncut; sweet flesh is good for pies and baking too.
- Fairy Tale has the similar flattened shape as Cinderella, but is a deep green and turns buff orange as it ages; inside is a bright orange flesh that is sweet and creamy—an excellent choice for pie; hard shell makes it difficult to carve.
- Blue Doll is slightly square with a pale blue-grey color and deep ribbing; sweet, deep orange flesh is fantastic for cooking and baking; hard shell makes it difficult to carve.
- Warty Goblin is round or oval with high “shoulders” and is bright orange with green bumps or “warts” randomly covering the skin; hard shell makes it difficult to carve.
Stop by soon to enjoy our fall display of heirloom and carving pumpkins and fall décor. Show off your pumpkin projects by sharing a photo and tagging us on social media (@dennis7dees)!