Pumpkins are a genus of plants, so a large group. We know best the garden pumpkins, a separate plant species. Our favorite vegetable is zucchini. In Switzerland, they are called “Zucchetti”. They belong to edible pumpkins such as the giant pumpkin and some more.
Our gardeners plant other pumpkins because they look beautiful. They’re called ornamental gourds. You can’t eat them and they can even be poisonous. They taste bitter. Slightly more distantly related to pumpkins are melons and cucumbers.
Pumpkins ripen in the fall. You can’t eat them raw, so you have to cook them. The seeds can be dried and eaten or oil can be pressed from them. Pumpkins contain a lot of vitamin A, which is particularly good for the eyes.
People have been grafting or growing pumpkins for a long time. As a result, there were many different varieties very early on and they came to Europe very early on. The first pumpkin seeds were discovered around 7000 years ago in Mexico and the southern United States. There the Indians already used pumpkin as a staple food. Their hollowed-out hard shell served as a container for liquids or seeds. Today, for Halloween, people hollow out pumpkins and make lanterns out of them.