Award-winning Cuisine magazine is celebrating a bumper New Zealand pumpkin crop by featuring this humble member of the gourd family (Cucurbitaceae) (which includes the squash) on its May front page.
My friend and Cuisine Editor, the Foodonerable Kelli Brett, a former ABC - Australia food program presenter and now the owner of this esteemed New Zealand icon, is a great champion of the inhabitants of nature's vegetable kingdom.
Cuisine May Edition Cover
In New Zealand, pumpkin and squash are used quite loosely, one person’s squash may be another’s pumpkin, but in general, pumpkins are hard-skinned squashes, typically with an orange meaty interior.
This editor's 2023 crop came from entirely 'wild-grown', although I like the sound of 'wild crafted' seeds, which bore more than 100 large Cucurbitaceae - pumpkins.
Some of the PFN Editor's 2023 pumpkin crop
The word "pumpkin", by the way, comes from the Greek word "pepon", which means "large melon". This word was then adapted into French as "pompon",( trust the French) and eventually into English as "pumpion" or "pumpkin". The word "pepon" itself is believed to have been derived from the Greek word "pepos", which means "ripe" or "cooked". Pumpkins are believed to have originated in Central America and Mexico and were cultivated by Native American tribes long before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. Now one can comfortably say the very humble but highly nutritious pumpkin is ubiquitous - a sort of global food available almost everywhere.
Pumpkins are usually eaten as a vegetable or pureed into soup during the cooler winter months in the northern and southern hemispheres. However, one of my favourite pumpkin uses is in Gnocchi form - a take on traditional potato Gnocchi.
Hand-made uncooked pumpkin Gnocchi left, cooked
pumpkin gnocchi right. Full recipe HERE
Now here's Cuisine Magazine's take on how to treat pumpkin at this time of the year. Ginny Grant's tribute to this month's wonderful cover - Roasted pumpkin and lentil salad with Gochujang dressing. Full recipe HERE. Simply stunning!!
Cuisine Magazine-Roasted Pumpkin & Lentil Salad With Gochujang Dressing
Links again to New Zealand's most prestigious food and lifestyle magazine. HERE.
Enjoy your Pumpkin Season!!
Footnote to this story: Kelli Brett interviewed me some years ago at the time of the release of my first of two raw vegan recipe books, both available on Amazon. Ms Brett is the consummate creative professional always looking for meaningful food-related stories. I have deep respect for her :)
This image was taken at the actual time of the interview with Kelli Brett in Melbourne and me based at the time on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.