Pumpkins are Now Available in White as Well as Orange
Variety, it is said, is the spice of life.
Consumers enjoy being able to try or choose new things as well as having the opportunity to make a choice among variations of similar items. We can take this freedom to choose for granted because, in their efforts to generate profits, businesses continually strive to increase our choices and find new things for us to purchase.
Popular Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns, carved from pumpkins, are an example of this process which results from ever changing consumer tastes coupled with producers’ efforts to keep ahead of and encourage this by continuing to develop new and better versions of products.
White Pumpkin Growing in a Field
Descendants of European Settlers Improve and Find New Uses for Pumpkins
Settlers and their descendants quickly began finding new uses for pumpkins - such as making pumpkin pie and carving them into Jack-O-Lanterns
White Pumpkin Waiting to be Carved
Pumpkins are a Native North American Crop
Pumpkins which are indigenous to North America and were consumed by the native peoples of North America for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Columbus and other sixteenth century European explorers.
Early settlers in North America were introduced to pumpkins and other indigenous food crops by their native Indian neighbors.
White Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern
The settlers also began making some other changes in the growing of pumpkins. Over time, using selective breeding and cross pollination techniques they began to develop new varieties of pumpkins.
Meatier, more tender and more flavorful pumpkins were developed for use in making pumpkin pies, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, baked pumpkin vegetable dish, etc.
Larger pumpkin varieties were developed to enable consumer to carve better and more exotic Jack-O-Lanterns and, recently, gardeners have been competing to grow ever larger giant pumpkins that weigh in excess of a ton.
In recent years (beginning about 2006 and becoming more common starting in 2007) pumpkin growers been growing pumpkins that are white rather than the original orange color.
Helped by manufacturers of artificial Jack-O-Lanterns who had begun to churn out white and black Jack-O-Lanterns along with orange ones, growers began producing and selling real white pumpkins.
Pumpkin Patch With White & Orange Pumpkins
White is not the Only New Pumpkin Color
In addition to white pumpkins, growers have also started to produce and offer blue (usually referred to commercially as Australian Blue Pumpkins), red (with the two most common commercial varieties of red pumpkins being known as Rouge D'Etant and Cinderella) and tan.
Grow Your Own Australian Blue Pumpkins
While blue and red pumpkins can sometimes be found by visiting the increasingly popular and common rural pumpkin patches that cater to consumers directly by advertising to come and pick-your-own pumpkin sales events during October each year, these colors have yet to generate much consumer interest.
In fact the best way to obtain red or blue pumpkins is to grow your own with seeds that can be found in mail order garden catalogs and from online retailers.
As for tan pumpkins, these are also rarely found for sale in retail pumpkin patches or store shelves. However, tan pumpkins are a major commercial product among canning companies which convert them to pumpkin puree which can be usually be found in the canned vegetable or pie filling shelves of food stores.
Wagon Overflowing with Orange, White & Tan Pumpkins
White Pumpkins - An Oddity or a Trend?
his leaves white pumpkins as the second most popular color after the traditional orange colored pumpkins. It should be noted that white pumpkins are only white on the outside with the flesh beneath the outer layer of white skin retaining the traditional orange color. This combination of white outside and orange inside gives a unique look to the pumpkin once it is carved into a Jack-O-Lantern.
White Pumpkin Growing in a Pumpkin Patch
Part of the reason the new white pumpkins have become popular while the equally new red and blue pumpkins have failed to catch on with consumers appears to be the fact that white has become a popular color for decorating.
Of course, while white may be the new popular color in decorating there is no guarantee that tastes in decorating will not change in the not too distant future. Tastes change and, when they do there is no guarantee that white pumpkins will remain a popular Halloween product.
However, other factors, besides tastes in decorating, may be at work here. As mentioned above, only the outer layer of skin is white on white pumpkins - the interior of the pumpkin is orange. When a pumpkin is carved into a Jack-O-Lantern, the eyes and other holes making up the face will be orange which will provide a contrast to the white exterior unlike the all orange coloring of a traditional orange pumpkin Jack-O-Lanterns.
If this unique white and orange combination is of greater importance than the current white decoration fad then white pumpkins could be a central part of the Halloween tradition for a long time.
White Pumpkin Growing Along Side an Orange Pumpkin
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Pumpkins Growing in an Arizona Pumpkin Patch
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© 2007 Chuck Nugent
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