By Terry Trucco
The official bloom of Thanksgiving? The pumpkin, of course. So in honor of this noble gourd, equally agreeable embellishing a tabletop, a soup or a pie, we bring you Overnight New York’s pumpkin fast facts and show how two hotels, the Jumeirah Essex House and New York Hilton, displayed the big orange guys this year.
+ Cucurbitaceae — the family of squashes, melons and gourds from which pumpkins, like cucumbers and watermelons, hail.
+ 7000 to 5500 B.C. – the years the earliest pumpkin-related seeds date from. (They were discovered in Mexico.)
+ Pepon –the Greek word for “large melon,” believed to be the genesis for “pumpkin.”
+ 1.5 billion pounds — the amount of pumpkins produced in the US each year.
+ 1,810 pounds — the biggest pumpkin ever (certified by Guinness). An Atlantic Giant, it was grown by Chris Stevens of New Richmond, Wisconsin in 2010. Caveat: it was white, not orange.
+ Vitamin A and beta-carotene — pumpkins are high in these.
+ Saturated fat – pumpkins are low in this (unless you add heavy cream to your pie).