I Just Found Out Canned Pumpkin Isn’t Pumpkin At All, And My Whole Life is Basically a Lie (link)
With months of researching and preparing for the fall, you’d think I would have discovered what I’m about to tell you before last week. Heck, as someone who spends the entirety of her workweek studying food, I should just innately know all of the things–right? Not so, my friends, not so.
Okay, I’ll get to the point. I found out something extremely disappointing and concerning this week that has made me rethink most everything in my life, so I’d like to share a little PSA with the class:
Pumpkin puree is not pumpkin. It’s squash.
Pumpkin puree: You know, the canned orange stuff that’s lining the supermarket walls right now? The stuff you use to make all your favorite fall desserts that’s labeled “100% pumpkin”?! Yes, well, it’s actually made from 100% not pumpkin. The mix is made from a variety of winter squash (think butternut, Golden Delicious, Hubbard, and more). Libby’s, the brand that produces about 85% of the country’s canned “pumpkin” filling, has actually developed a certain variety of squash that they grow, package, and distribute to supermarkets across the country–all the while fooling innocent, trusting consumers into believing they’re eating a pumpkin.
As it turns out, pumpkins can be fairly stringy and watery; certain
varieties of winter squash make a richer, sweeter puree that works way
better for packing the now-ambiguous flavor we all love into our
favorite fall dishes. Additionally, the USDA is fairly lenient with
gourd terminology in general, which is why it’s perfectly legal to label
a food product as “pumpkin” when, in reality, it’s made from a
different variety of squash. So it’s all good now that there’s an
explanation, right? NO. It’s not.
What I’m telling you is, you’ve basically been eating butternut squash pie, squash bread, and drinking SQUASH FREAKING SPICE LATTES this entire time