The scoop on pumpkin
heeft dit artikel op 16 oktober 2002 toegevoegd. Dit artikel is
219 keer bekeken,
2 x bewaard
Een artikel uit Amerika over de geschiedenis van de pompoen, en het gebruik ervan.
Met tips voor het kiezen van de juiste pompoen voor een bepaald gerecht.(in het engels)
I am well aware that the prevailing taste in pumpkins today runs to the Smashing-kind, at least among the baggy jeans and pierced everything crowd. It would doubtless surprise that group to learn that there are still a few of us who prefer pumpkins that make good eating to those making hit records.
Ours is an understandable preference:
Pumpkins are fetching, a brilliant punctuation mark between seasons.
They remind us to count our blessings; stock the pantry and buy treats for the neighborhood kids.
And at the table pumpkins are every bit the seasonal stalwart; perhaps they were too much so for the colonial poet who served up this pumpkin poem.
If fresh meat be wanting to fill up our dish.
We have carrots and pumpkins and turnips and fish.
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon:
If it was not for pumpkins we should all be undone.
That anonymous poet may have had a thin eat, but he had a keen eye for the important role that the pumpkin played in Early American life. Pumpkins were introduced
to Europeans settlers by American Indians
, who used it for everything from making floor mats to curing headaches.
The Indians showed how to increase garden yields by planting pumpkins amid corn
The settlers also learned how to dry pumpkin
for winter storage,
Cook it with cider for pumpkin butter
and mix it with cornmeal to make bread
It was only a matter of time before they removed the top, scooped out the seeds and filled the cavity with milk, apple chunks, spices and sweeteners.
, this dish was a forerunner of our modern pumpkin pie.
The object of our forbears' culinary industry is not a vegetable-as many mistakenly believe-but a fruit
! It is even a berry
belonging to the genus Cucurbita
, which includes a range of pumpkins from the giant maxima to the traditional small sugar or New England pie
All canbe eaten
, though not all pumpkins are grown with the cook in mind
Pumpkins destined for carving
are bred for overall symmetry and size
; the flesh is sometimes watery and bland
, which can add as much as fifteen pounds and five inches of girth per day, are grown primarily for sport, not eating.
If cooking is your aim
however, you can't go wrong with the 5 to 8 pound culinary pumpkins
; the word pie, sugar or sweet
in the name is a good indication you've found one.
These pumpkins tend to have firm delicious flesh.
In warmer areas of the country the "cheese pumpkin"
so called because it's flattened ends give it the appearance of a wheel of cheese-yields a sweet flesh that makes for excellent eating!
Everyone has an opinion on how to cook a pumpkin: Steam, boil or bake?
The first 2 methods are faster
, but the results can
sometimes be watery.
Not to worry: It's a simple matter to puree any cooked pumpkin, then heat it gently in a saucepan to remove excess water.
If you cook the puree with sugar and spice
until the mixture is thickened, you have pumpkin butter
, wonderful for spreading on biscuits and muffins.
Of course, some of us would rather just open a can of pumpkin; few on the receiving end will be wiser!
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