All About Pumpkins

America’ heartland is the center of the pumpkin industry in this country, with over 90% of pumpkins processed in the United States grown in Illinois. There are over 400 varieties of pumpkins, squash, and gourds. What we consider a classic orange pumpkin, is actually a uniquely American crop. Across the world, pumpkins come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors.

Some of the lesser-known varieties of pumpkins are:


Moranga De Mesa
Heavily ribbed, flattened shape and pinkish red color, this is a Brazilian Heirloom. It can be sliced like a cantaloupe and roasted on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper.


Marina Di Chioggia
Originated in the seaside village of Chioggia near Venice on Italy’s Adriatic coast, this pumpkin is turban shaped with a green to blue-green skin. It is a good keeper, storing up to 6 months in a cool, dry place, although the skin may change color with time from green to a dark orange. Excellent roasted and perfect for making gnocchi.


Zapallo Plomo
Extremely rare ancient variety that is claimed to be the inspiration for topaz colored jewelry of ancient Indian civilizations. A dense cucurbit, its name translates to ‘leaden squash’. It has interesting, rustic-looking scarring on bluish-gray skin and is also a fine squash for eating.


Galeux d’Eysines
One of the most unique varieties of them all. An elegant French Heirloom, it is either the ugliest or most beautiful pumpkin depending upon your point of view. This stunning squash has beautiful salmon-peach colored skin covered with peanut shell-like warts caused by sugar in the skin. Traditionally used in France for soups and sauces, when cooked, the sweet, orange flesh is as smooth as velvet.

Nicole Patel

Nicole Patel is the proprietor of and chocolatier for Delysia Chocolatier. In 2006 while pregnant with her first son, Nicole made a batch of chocolate truffles as holiday gifts. To the delight of friends and family, she continued to create chocolates as a way to relieve stress from her corporate engineering job. In 2008, a chance trip to Becker Vineyards led to Nicole being the first in Texas to make truffles using local wines. Within five years, what started as a hobby turned Delysia into one of the Top Ten Chocolatiers in the Americas, as selected by the International Chocolate Salon.