What the Deal With Those Warty Pumpkins?

October is a month where our world is flooded with a multitude of pumpkin varieties. From the round, smooth-skinned pumpkins perfect for carving jack-o-lanterns to the smaller, ribbed pumpkins ideal for pies, these autumnal treasures are a seasonal favorite. However, one pumpkin variety, with its peculiar and bumpy appearance, has been garnering attention in recent years: the warty pumpkin.

So, what’s the deal with those warty pumpkins?

1. They’re Not Diseased

One of the most common misconceptions is that warty pumpkins are diseased or have been affected by pests. In reality, these bumpy growths, known as “warts”, are purely genetic. Some pumpkin varieties naturally grow with these unique textures, and they’re just as healthy and edible as their smoother counterparts.

2. Warty Pumpkins Have Historical Significance

Historically, warty pumpkins have been around for centuries. Native American tribes would sometimes use these types of pumpkins due to their thick skins, which made them ideal for long-term storage.

3. They’re Perfect for Unique Decor

While they might not be everyone’s first choice for a traditional jack-o-lantern, their distinctive appearance makes them a fantastic option for those looking to add a touch of whimsy or even a slightly spooky element to their Halloween d├ęcor.

4. They’re Just as Edible

Though they might look a little different on the outside, warty pumpkins are just as delicious on the inside. You can use them in any of your favorite pumpkin recipes, from pies to soups.

5. Breeding for Bumps

In recent years, due to their rising popularity, some farmers have begun specifically breeding pumpkins to enhance and exaggerate these warty features, resulting in an even more dramatic appearance.

6. A Symbol of Embracing Imperfections

In a way, the rising popularity of the warty pumpkin can be seen as a metaphor for society’s increasing acceptance of imperfections and the beauty of uniqueness. Just as not every person fits a conventional mold, not every pumpkin needs to be perfectly smooth to be celebrated.

In conclusion, warty pumpkins are more than just a seasonal novelty. They’re a testament to nature’s diversity, a historical artifact, and a reminder that beauty can be found in the most unexpected places. The next time you see one, take a moment to appreciate its quirky charm and consider giving it a place of honor in your autumn display.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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