How to Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
Fall is in the air! This is one of my very favorite seasons and I am excited to start picking a pumpkin for carving. Did you know that there are certain things you should look for in a perfect pumpkin? Here are some tips for making sure you get the very best pumpkin when you are ready to start your carving!
Make sure the pumpkin you pick is all the way ripe. It should not have any green left on it at all. This is because unlike many types of produce, it won’t continue to ripen after it is harvested.
Choose a pattern or have a general idea of what you will be carving before you pick your pumpkin. This way, you will know that your pattern will work and you can even take it with you to lay over the pumpkin while you are selecting it.
Look for a pumpkin with a good stem. These will not only give your pumpkin a good look, but it will also ensure you have a good handle to lift up the lid by. Before you carve it, don’t hold it or haul it by the handle, though, as to avoid breaking it off.
Check out how the pumpkin sits on the ground when placed on a flat surface. You want to make sure it doesn’t lean too far too the side and that it won’t fall over.
Make sure your pumpkin is hard and does not have any soft spots. Soft spots are a sign the pumpkin may have been miss-handled and will decompose much quicker.
Don’t select your pumpkin too far in advance. I like to go with 2-3 days before we will carve it if possible. Because pumpkins are produce, you don’t want it to start to go bad before you even get a chance to carve it.
Going to a pumpkin patch that allows you to pick your own is ideal. This way you can get the pumpkin as fresh as possible. If you choose to get yours from the grocery store, know that they could be several weeks old at that point.
Make sure to look at all surfaces of your pumpkin, paying extra attention to the bottom to look for any bugs, cracks, or even mold growing from it.
Shape can matter. Know that taller pumpkins may have harder shells and may also have more stringy insides. These can be difficult to cut into and even harder to place a candle or light source into.
Test how thick the walls of the pumpkin are by tapping it. If it sounds hollow, you have a good carving pumpkin.
Don’t forget that pumpkins come in all kinds of colors! Yu can sometimes get them at the store, but usually a farm is the best bet. I like the white Cinderella variety and recently, they have crossed the traditional orange with the white variety creating a pink pumpkin!