The best pumpkins for storage and various dishes - soup, juice, baking, desserts
For many, the main winter vegetable from their garden is potatoes. But in our family, the beautiful pumpkin was in serious competition with her. Thanks to a variety of varieties, this bright and diverse vegetable can be used to prepare first and second courses, drinks and desserts. In our Voronezh region, practically all popular pumpkin varieties work well, so we plant more than 20 varieties of it every year in the garden.
In this article, I would like to describe some of the favorite pumpkin varieties that have shown themselves best in preparing popular dishes from this vegetable.
1. Pumpkin "Muscat of Provence" - the best pumpkin for making juice
"Muscat of Provence", or Muscat de Provence - An old French muscat variety, originating in 1800. Externally, these pumpkins are incredibly beautiful and mouth-watering, they can often be found on sale in supermarkets in whole form or in portions.
In my opinion, with the phrase “beautiful pumpkin”, most gardeners will have an image close to the appearance of the Muscat Provence variety - an impressive size, a regular, slightly flattened shape, and an even orange-brown color. In addition, it has a pronounced ribbing, thanks to which it resembles a pie sliced to a festive table.
By weight, the fruits, as a rule, are large, and the first pumpkins can reach about 10 kilograms, and the subsequent ones on a separate bush turn out to be smaller - from 2 to 5 kilograms.
The skin of this pumpkin is thin and delicate, which allows you to easily remove it with a knife. The bright orange flesh is thick, incredibly juicy and fragrant. In my opinion, the pumpkin “Muscat of Provence” is good raw, then its inimitable muscat flavor is felt especially brightly.
While preparing a pumpkin for baking, it is very difficult to stop, so as not to eat it completely, because to taste and consistency it is as if not a vegetable, but some kind of unusual fruit, like an apple, but much tastier and more exotic. But the baked pumpkin loses somewhat fresh, because its flesh is quite watery and fibrous.
The sweetness of pumpkins depends on weather conditions, and the largest amount of Sugar “Muscat Provence” is gaining in the hot sunny summer. In cool weather, the pulp does not gain much sweetness, but this does not spoil its inimitable taste.
Usually, the whole crop of this pumpkin variety goes to make fresh juice. Without prejudice, I can call the pumpkin drink “Muscat of Provence” simply delicious. He does not have the slightest characteristic pumpkin flavor, which is unpleasant to many, but in the juice there is a very distinct taste of watermelon, a rich nutmeg blend and moderate sweetness.
In addition, in this drink there is an indescribable freshness, which after just one glass begins to literally be felt throughout the body. Due to the juiciness of pumpkin, the yield of juice from each fruit is maximum, and we do not throw out the squeezed pulp, but freeze it and use it later in baking or for making dried raw food "bread".
Our family prefers to use pumpkin juice in the form of fresh juice, but the Muscat of Provence pumpkin is also great for preparing juice for the winter. This variety is also good for candied fruits.
When choosing a growing place, it is important to keep in mind that the Muscat of Provence pumpkin has an irrepressible growth rate and its powerful lashes can reach 10 meters in length. On the one hand, this can be a problem when placing plants in small areas, and on the other hand, such a pumpkin will become a real live mulch, and the area covered by its vines with giant leaves will not need weeding.
Considering that the Muscat of Provence pumpkin came to us from the south of France, it is worth noting the increased heat loving nature of the plant. In warm summers, when sown in soil in May, the fruits manage to gain maximum size by the beginning of autumn, after which they mature in the room. However, growing seedlings gives the best results.
Note: the huge size of the fruit is not always attributed to the positive qualities of pumpkin. But the magnificent pumpkin “Muscat of Provence” has more miniature relatives. Varieties such as Muscat de Agro andMinimuscat retain all the attractive properties of the Muscat de Provence variety - bright musky notes, juiciness, sweetness and charming ribbing, but at the same time they are smaller (2-5 kilograms).
See the next page for a list of the best pumpkin varieties for different dishes.