Tondar's Daily Rant

Prepare yourself for the writings of Tondar the Destroyer, Baron of Atlanta, Rightful Heir to the Throne of Spain, from whom all babies come. As his will be blogged, so let it be done.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

ON PUMPKINS

Happy Halloween from Seth...

Some things you didn't know about pumpkins:
  • Pumpkins are from the squash family Curcurbita, which includes squashes, gourds pumpkins, cucumbers and zucchini.
  • Pumpkins are a fruit, botanically speaking.
  • Although pumpkins are found on every continent except Antarctica, over 98 percent of them are grown in North America, 94 percent are grown in the United States, and 83 percent are grown within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois. The U.S. pumpkin industry is valued at over $100 million annually.
  • Botanic appellations of Curcurbita strongly disagree with their taxonomic designations. C. Pepo includes all summer squashes, sweet winter squashes, cooking pumpkins and small ornamental gourds often called "mini-pumpkins." C. Mixta is a separate species usually used for carving jack-'o-lanterns. Giant pumpkins are a different species of winter squash, C. Maxima, mixed with C. Mixta.
  • Most pumpkins are C. Pepo, and are grown for processing. Their second-biggest use is for animal feed. However, over 90 percent of C. Mixta are used for carving on Halloween.
  • Outside North America, "pumpkin" refers to any member of the Curcurbita genus, i.e. any type of squash.
  • Early U.S. colonists used pumpkins in pies, but in the crust, not the filling.
  • The pumpkin is the state fruit of New Hampshire
  • Pumpkins originally came from Mexico. Aztecs believed the pumpkin's flower and seeds, which are both edible, had medicinal properties.
  • Pumpkins are over 90-percent water, among the most watery fruits
  • Pumpkins get their orange color from a very high presence of Beta-Carotine, which is a source of Vitamin A.
  • Morton, Illinois, is the self-proclaimed Pumpkin Capital of the World
  • The tradition of carving pumpkins came from Ireland, where the Irish used to carve turnips for All-Hallow's Eve.
  • The word "pumpkin" comes from Greek "pepon," which means "large melon.
  • If you multiply the number of fruiting sections in a field pumpkin (C. pepo variety) by 16 it is the number of seeds in the pumpkin.
  • Covering a carved pumpkin with petroleum jelly or WD-40 will slow down its degradation process
  • The poem "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater" is one of a very few nursury rhymes with an American origin. The meaning of the poem, if it wasn't nonsensical, is unknown.
  • Carved pumpkins were used by colonials as indoor scenting devices. If you put cinnamon on the bottom of the "lid" of a carved pumpkin and burn a candle inside, the scent is similar to that of a pumpkin pie.
  • In most of the world, "pumpkin" or the word translating to "pumpkin" is a slang term for an unattractive woman. In the United States Midwest and South, it is used as a term of endearment (normally for children). In Renaissance Europe, the term was applied to womens' genitalia.

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