Pumpkins - Butternut
The cream-coloured skin of a Butternut pumpkin hides a beautifully sweet, buttery flesh. This is the best variety for roasting; and it is also popular stuffed with other vegetables, or in soups and risottos.
How do we make sure we provide top quality Butternut pumpkin?
We begin by making sure the skin of the pumpkin is firm (soft skin indicates that the pumpkin is immature, meaning that the flesh will be watery and tasteless). Secondly, we check to make sure the skin is dull, and there are no signs of decay or age (typically shown as black spots, soft spots, and areas of mould). Next, we make sure the skin does not have any cuts (which may allow bacteria in), and that there’s a hollow sound when tapped. Finally, we check whether the pumpkin is dense (this indicates age, pumpkins lose moisture content as they get older).
Where do we source our Butternut pumpkin from?
Pumpkins require well-drained, medium texture soil. Growing pumpkins is relatively easy, but harvesting them is hard work! Harvesting is all done by hand – farmers work their way through the field and collect any pumpkins that have reached maturity. Care is taken not to break any vines (otherwise the younger pumpkins will perish), and not to damage the vine’s leaves (the leaves provide sun-protection for the pumpkins). As you could imagine, harvesting pumpkins requires both diligence and strength! Depending on the season, we source most of our pumpkins from the strong-backed folk of Ballarat, Warrnambool and Werribee.
What is the best way to keep Butternut pumpkin?
The hard protective skin of a Butternut pumpkin means that they store for a relatively long time (up to three months). Optimal storage conditions are between 10°C-15°C and 85%-95% relative humidity. Make sure they are not stored in direct sunlight (which will speed up cellular respiration). If you’re planning to keep the pumpkin for a long period, make sure you constantly change their storage position (the part touching the shelf or bench tends to decay first). If you cut the pumpkin, wrap it with cling wrap and store it in the fridge.
Butternut pumpkin nutritional information
Pumpkins are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene, which has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), and a rich source of vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fibre. They have been linked with the prevention of cancer, the promotion of lung health (due to their beta-cryptoxanthin content, which is the orange-red carotenoid responsible for their flesh colour). The seed of the pumpkin is also nutritious; it is a great source of omega oils.
Butternut pumpkin serving tips and suggestions
Pumpkin is a great absorber of other flavours – add sage and rosemary for savoury dishes, or cinnamon and nutmeg for sweet dishes. Cooking methods that require higher temperatures (such as roasting or char-grilling) are especially tasty; the higher temperatures caramelise the sugars in the pumpkin.
*All weights are approx* (Half piece)