The orange amber colours, melt-in-the-mouth textures and appealing sweet flavours of pumpkin are excellent in all manner of dishes at this time of the year. Pumpkins belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, which include zucchini, gourd, melon, squash and cucumber. Pumpkins are technically a fruit, and there are numerous varieties grown in South Australia, the most common being Butternut, Japanese (Also known as Kent), Queensland Blue, Golden Nugget and Jarrahdale.
Pumpkins are rich in beta-carotene, an important antioxidant that aids in the prevention of degenerative diseases. Pumpkin can be used to make amazing soups, as well as fillings for filo pastries, muffins and pies. It also works well in stews and curries. Pumpkin scones are an old Aussie favourite as is roast pumpkin. It is great in preserves and pickles, fillings for ravioli, as a base for gnocchi and chargrilled on the BBQ. Check with your stallholders which pumpkin they recommend for what type of dishes.