Pumpkins are a popular vegetable best known for their thick orange or yellow shell. Inside this shell is the edible portion of the pumpkin as well as the seeds, that can also be eaten. Most varieties of pumpkin are quite large at an average of 4-8 kg (9-18 lbs), but they are capable of growing over 453 kg (1000 lbs) in some cases. Pumpkins are used in many different recipes, including the popular pumpkin pie. Today, pumpkins are grown on every continent apart from Antarctica. If you have ever wondered where they originated from, keep reading to find out.
Where do pumpkins come from?
It is not known exactly where pumpkins originated from, but it is thought that they originally came from somewhere in North America. The oldest pumpkin seeds were found in Mexico and they have been dated at somewhere between 7000 and 5500 BC.
Today the biggest producers of pumpkins includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, China and India. Over 680 million kg (1.5 billion pounds) of this vegetable are produced in the US each year. The largest pumpkin producing states include California, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Did you know?
About 95% of the pumpkins that are destined for processing are grown in Illinois. In 2009 heavy rain in the state resulted in a shortage of processed pumpkin during the Thanksgiving holiday season.