Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Food Lore


Looking for some pumpkin food lore?

Pumpkins have been around for a long time. The word pumpkin comes from the Greek pepõn which means a large melon. In the 16th century the English called it pumpion or pompion.

This hard-shelled round globe comes in many colors: from white to dark orange and was already a staple food in many Native American communities well before the Pilgrims landed. It was pounded into flat strips that were dried and then woven into mats that were traded. The dried pumpkin was also eaten.

Sweet, it was readily welcomed by the colonial immigrants who incorporated it into their Thanksgiving foods as a dessert, soup, and/or side dish. Some records suggest it was also used to make beer.

Today, the pumpkin (squash) is commonly known as one of the indigenous "Three Sisters." The other two sisters are corn and beans. This food trinity forms the core of the Native American diet today. Historically the pumpkin made their way north from Mexico, Central America and South America. 
Its s meat is very high in carotenoids which may help neutralize free radicals that can attack cell membranes. The meat also include antioxidants such as lutein and contain iron, zinc, and fiber.

Jack O' Lantern 

Its use as Jack O' Lantern dates back to the Celtic celebration of Samhain. This communal Autumnal gathering took place when the nights and days were about the same length. It was believed that this was when the 'two worlds' (light and dark) were connected to each other and spirits from the dark world would come visit those living in the light world. People were said to have left food out for the spirits that caused trouble and they lit candles to help light the way of the benevolent spirits. Over time the candles were placed in carved out squash and pumpkin.

Want to know more about the pumpkin?
== Pumpkin Carving
== Old Fashioned Pumpkin Cookies

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