How to choose a perfect pumpkin


The Catalyst / Annabelle Huber

Pumpkins are sold in Half Moon Bay to start the fall season rignt.

Autumn is upon us, as the leaves start to change and pumpkins start being placed on doorsteps as well as around the halls.

Arguably, pumpkins are very versatile fruits, ranging from decorations to food. Many students find both carving and baking with pumpkins a fun way to celebrate the fall season. This year, students wonder how they can choose the perfect pumpkin, and what they can make with them?

Finding the perfect pumpkin includes three important tips. Firstly, the pumpkin should be firm to the touch, those with soft spots or indents may already be rotting. Another detail to check for is the maturity of the pumpkin. If a pumpkin is easily punctured by a fingernail, it may indicate that the pumpkin was picked prematurely, and will soon decay.

It is also important to take a look at the stem of the pumpkin. The ideal pumpkin will have a bright green stem that has been freshly cut. Pumpkins with dried-out stems often mean that they were harvested long ago.

Once you have picked out the perfect pumpkin, it is important to take care of it, so it can live a long life. A key point is to not carry the pumpkin by the stem. Although it seems like a convenient handle, if the stem breaks off, it may begin to rot. Keeping this in mind, carrying the pumpkin from the bottom is the best way to transport it. Lastly, pumpkins live longest in cooler conditions such as somewhere inside that does not get much sunlight.

What desserts can be baked from a pumpkin? Most pumpkin desserts use pumpkin puree, which can be both store-bought or homemade.

A Thanksgiving favorite, pumpkin pie, can be easily made with store-bought pumpkin puree and pie crust, or from scratch with homemade ingredients.

Another dessert that is often plastered across storefronts is pumpkin spice muffins. These fall treats are simple to make and can be easily personalized with oatmeal and other add-ons mixed within the batter.

A non-traditional pumpkin dessert is pumpkin cinnamon rolls that can be topped with rich cream cheese frosting or a glaze of choice. This treat can be a new favorite for those with a sweet tooth, the gooey spiced confection is perfect when enjoyed warm.

The fall season offers a wide variety of festivities and ways to celebrate. Pumpkins are a notable part of fall celebrations and present us with wonderful different ways to enjoy the orange gourd.