Canned pumpkin isn’t actually pumpkin because everything is a lie, including fall
Fall season is upon us. But, before we rush to the store to buy tons of canned pumpkin for pies and pancakes, we must face the truth. The horrific, unbearable truth about our precious canned pumpkin. It turns out canned pumpkin is made out of squash instead of pumpkins. No, this is not a joke. We have all been living a lie.
The traditional pumpkin we are used to seeing all over our grandma’s fall kitchen towels and at the pumpkin patch is a variant of the Curcurbita pepo. It’s orange, attractive, and makes us want to skip outside with our yoga pants and Uggs on a crisp, clear day. But, it’s mostly made of water and not very delicious. So, the more flavorful Cucurbita moschata, which is more like a butternut squash, is used in a lot of canned pumpkin. And when it comes to canned pumpkin, Libby’s Pure Pumpkin is made from the Dickinson squash, which is a gourd that looks like a butternut squash.
It’s true. We are all consuming massive amounts of non-pumpkin squash against our will. This kinda makes Libby’s the biggest pumpkin scammer of them all.
There’s nothing wrong with butternut squash. It’s healthy and tastes great (obviously, since that’s what we are actually eating), but we don’t want a squash latte, squash pie, or squash pancakes. It doesn’t sound pretty nor appealing and we want to believe we are eating the fall mascot.
Now that pumpkins have been ruined for us, we are not sure how to carry on about our fall routines. How can we look at our precious pumpkin spice latte with the same loving eyes? Will we be able to enjoy our aunt’s famous pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving or will we get in trouble for calling it a Dickinson squash pie? Can we take pumpkins and somehow make them taste like… pumpkins?
A word of advice: if you are thinking about suing Libby’s, please wait a minute. Current FDA regulations are unclear on the pumpkin vs. squash differences and declare it is legal to label canned “pumpkin” as pumpkin. Companies can also blend different varieties in the pumpkin family to achieve a certain flavor. You will unfortunately have to accept canned pumpkin for what it is or figure out how to make your own pumpkin puree and hope for the best. Good luck.
The fall jig is up and life will never be the same.