How to choose the right pumpkin variety for your recipes, how to clean it and cut it, and how to preserve it correctly

The term pumpkin is used in a generic way, but the truth is that there are various types of pumpkins, each one with its own characteristics.

Although the exterior part presents different colors ranging from yellow to orange to green depending on the seed and where it is grown, the internal pulp always has a  more or less strong orange-yellow color. Traditionally, at the supermarket we find variants with orange peel or at most green, even in an elongated format.

How to choose the pumpkin

Choose the pumpkin that you prefer, but be careful not to choose the non-edible ones, or ornamental pumpkins, which are used to decorate tables or interiors in country style. Ask your retailer specifically what kind of pumpkins it is before buying them, usually the non-edible ones are small, of strange and elongated shapes and have a wrinkled and pitted skin.

When you buy a whole pumpkin you have to be very careful with some characteristics: it must be heavy, it must have a hard and thick skin, without dents. When you cut it, it must not resist. The pulp must be fragrant, dry and floury. Be careful that it has no filaments! When you buy the pumpkin in pieces check that each of them has the same amount of peel and a firm and not dented pulp, as well as moist in the superficial part.

How to clean the pumpkin

To clean a pumpkin, the first thing you need to do is wash the exterior surface well to remove traces of soil. At this point put the pumpkin on a cutting board and, with a long-bladed knife, cut it in half. Helping yourself with a spoon, remove the filaments and seeds. Important! Do not throw away the seeds in the pumpkin, they are delicious as an aperitif or snack. How to serve them? Cook them in the oven at 200 ° – 220 ° and salt them at your convenience.

How to cut the pumpkin

Cut the pumpkin into quarters to better remove the rind. Put each piece on the cutting board and be careful with your fingers. Cut the rind and move the knife directly on the cutting board, with a clean and decisive cut. Depending on the use you have to make of the pumpkin and the recipe you choose, cut the pumpkin into slices or squares, or grate it. If you want to bake it, the best is to cut the pumpkin with a moon shape.

How to preserve the pumpkin

How much time can you preserve a pumpkin? If whole and kept in a cool and dry place, it will last for very long periods. Always rinse it before cutting it. When it is cut instead, it is better to put it sliced and wrapped in a film in the refrigerator, so you can keep it even a month. While if you have it in cream or velvety version, put it in the freezer in an airtight container: you can freeze it without problems!