Nothing screams fall like pumpkin! From pumpkin carvings to pumpkin spice lattes, we embrace the change of the season with its comforting flavour. We are accustomed to seeing the giant pumpkins ready for carving, but did you know that the smaller sugar pumpkins are better suited for pies and cakes?
How to Select and Store Pumpkins
Find a pumpkin that is free of any blemishes or bruises. Larger pumpkins intended for decoration and Halloween can be eaten, but are less flavourful and can have a stringier texture than the smaller varieties that are intended for consumption.
Look for even-coloured pumpkins: a uniform colouring is an indication that it is fully mature. Make sure they are hard and firm, free of any soft spots or cracks. Use a fingernail to poke either the top by the stem, or on the bottom to test how firm it is. It should not dent or scratch.
If you plan on keeping them for as long as a month, gently clean the surface of the pumpkin with hot water and a clean cloth, then promptly wipe them completely dry.
Pumpkins typically store well for up to 2-3 months, provided that you keep them at a cool temperature, between 10 and 12ºC. The garage is a perfect place to store them – but do not store them on the cold, concrete floor. Keep them away from fruits that release ripening ethylene gas like apples or pears.
You can freeze cooked pumpkin (or purée,) but canning raw pumpkin is not recommended.