We are so excited that it’s pumpkin season; pumpkins are such a versatile, yummy and easy vegetable to cook with. We also know that there are quite a few different types of pumpkins, so we thought that would have a go at explaining a few of the varieties you are likely to see at the market.
Crown: these are the most common variety of pumpkin in New Zealand. They vary in size but have the potential to get very large. They have a greyish/blue skin, dry flesh and are usually quite sweet. The most common variety found in NZ is the Whangaparoa. Because of their tough skin they store well.
Butternut: is a pear shaped pumpkin with creamy light orange skin. The skin is thinner than the crown pumpkin (which makes it a lot easier to cut!). They have a sweet and almost nutty flavour.
Buttercup: a small pumpkin variety. They have a dark green, hard skin with lighter stripes and speckles. The buttercup has paler, fine textured flesh. The skin is quite soft so they don’t keep as well as other pumpkin varieties.
Sunshine squash: have bright orange skin and very sweet flesh. They are a variety of the buttercup pumpkin described above.
All of the pumpkin varieties you see at the market are great for roasting, soups, pureeing and mashed.
Tip: if you add mashed pumpkin to a white cheese sauce it makes a great pasta sauce and the kids will never know!