I kind of feel like I just found out that Santa wasn’t real or something. For my whole life, I’ve wrongly believed that what is in that can of pumpkin puree that says it is in fact 100% pumpkin puree is, in fact, PUMPKIN. Well, joke’s on me. It’s NOT!!!
I read this article after reader Kathy sent it to me and it alarmingly said:
“Pumpkin puree: You know, the canned orange stuff that’s lining the supermarket walls right now? The stuff you use to make all your favorite fall desserts that’s labeled “100% pumpkin”?! Yes, well, it’s actually made from 100% not pumpkin. The mix is made from a variety of winter squash (think butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard, and more). Libby’s, the brand that produces about 85% of the country’s canned “pumpkin” filling, has actually developed a certain variety of squash that they grow, package, and distribute to supermarkets across the country–all the while fooling innocent, trusting consumers into believing they’re eating a pumpkin.”
True story! I guess pumpkin can be really stringy and watery and not that sweet, so squash it is.
Now, to be fair and to add to my confusion, Libby’s has responded to the controversy on their Facebook page: “Pumpkin is a variety of squash belonging to the “Cucurbitaceae” (Cu·cur·bi·ta·ce·ae \(ˌ)kyüˌkərbəˈtāsēˌē\) or gourd family which also includes melons and cucumbers. Libby’s proudly uses 100% pumpkin in our Libby’s solid pack pumpkin. We do not use Hubbard squash, or other types of squash. In fact Libby’s uses a specific cultivar of pumpkin called Dickinson. The “Libby’s Select” strain of Dickinson is our own, developed over decades by our own agricultural people. Dickinson pumpkins are considered ‘the king’ of eating pumpkins.”
So now I’m not sure what to think. Is pumpkin really pumpkin? Do you know? Does it really matter if it tastes so good? Do I avoid this issue and make my own? Did you know about this forever and not tell me?
I’m heading off to decide if I have to change all my pumpkin recipe titles to say squash. Hmmm.