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The Great Pumpkin Debate

October 6, 2014

Fruit-Vegetable Gallery #5:

The name “pumpkin” originated from the Greek word “pepon (for large melon). The French changed pepon to “pompon” changed by the English to “pumpion,” changed to “pumpkin” by yours truly, the Americans.

According to Extension Specialist Tim Hartz, UC Davis Plant Science Department, pumpkins can be classified as a melon (fruit) or a squash (vegetable). Hartz says categorizing the pumpkin depends on who is defining the terms. “To a botanist, a pumpkin is a fruit because it is a ripened ovary containing seeds, just like a melon or tomato. To a chef, pumpkins and squash are usually thought of as vegetables because of how they are used in cooking.”

In other words, no one truly knows the proper category for pumpkins. So look at it this way, whether you call a pumpkin a melon or squash, fruit or vegetable, you will be correct every time!

 

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