Each October, ghoulishly decorated pumpkins illuminated by candlelight watch over front porches and peer through windows of many American homes. A sure sign that Halloween is near.
The tradition of carving Jack O’ Lanterns originated in Ireland, where turnips, beets and potatoes were used as lanterns, made by scooping out the inside of a turnip, carving the shell into a rude representation of the human face, and placing a lighted candle inside it. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin. Where the pumpkin became a standard in moder Halloween celebrations.
The term “jack-o’-lantern” is actually from British descent and dates as far back as the 17th century, where it literally meant “man with a lantern”. According to legend, the jack-o’-lantern gets its name from a reprobate Irishman known as Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack tried to trick the Devil into promising him that he wouldn’t have to go to hell for his sins. After Jack died he found out he had in fact been banned from heaven, Jack headed towards the gates of hell where he demanded to be released. The Devil kept his promise and doomed Jack to wander the earth for all eternity with only an ember of fire to light his way.
Here are a few specialty pumpkins you can use to dress up your porch this fall and keep your Jack O Lanterns in good company!
The Cinderella Pumpkin is an unusual French variety whose real name is “Rouge vif D’ Etampes”. This Pumpkin get its modern name because it resembles the pumpkin that Cinderella’s godmother transformed into the magical carriage. This Cinderella pumpkin variety was cultivated by the Pilgrims and served at the second Thanksgiving dinner. It is one of the most popular pumpkin varieties available. With its rich red-orange color this variety makes an excellent choice as a decorative feature, as well as a great choice for pies and deserts.
The Jarrahdale pumpkin is native to Australia. This variety has been said to be one the more difficult varieties to find. When cut it has a bright golden flesh inside that is good for baking. Its slate blue outside color and distinctive shape makes it a great choice for fall decorating. The thick flesh makes this one a little difficult to carve.
Fairy tail Pumpkin
The Fairy tail Pumpkin Originated in France. With its deeply ribbed shape and hard solid surface. The actual name for this variety is Musque De Provence; The Fairy tail Pumpkin is an old time favorite for many. Its dark blue-green exterior matures to a rich mahogany hue. It’s also an excellent choice for use in pies and winter recipes.
Mini pumpkins with their creamy yellow and orange color combination are great for decorating as well as eating. Their small size makes them a great choice for the little ones.
Mini Pumpkins are available in white and orange colors. These mini pumpkins look just like the regular size pumpkins only in miniature form. These miniature pumpkins can be used for fall displays, decorating and may also be used in many fall recipes.
Pie pumpkins are similar to regular pumpkins in that they are great for ornamental use. The pie pumpkins primarily used for baking. It can be used to make pies, soups and other dishes.