Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Pumpkins - Thanks to the American Farmer

Pumpkins define Halloween more than any other single item. There are many types that are used for decoration, carving and baking. Illinois is one of the largest pumpkin producing states. Some tidbits on pumpkins:

Lot's of Information from University of Illinois Extension:

  • Total U.S. pumpkin production in 2006 was valued at $101.3 million.

  • 496 million pounds of pumpkins were produced in Illinois in 2005.

  • The top pumpkin production states are Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.

  • The top ten pumpkin producing counties in Illinois are Tazewell, Kankakee, Mason, Logan, Will, Marshall, Kane, Pike, Carroll and Woodford.

  • According to the University of Illinois, 90 percent of the pumpkins grown in the United States are raised within a 90-mile radius of Peoria, Illinois.

Halloween's grinning jack-o-lanterns may disappear from front porches after tonight's trick-or-treating, but you'll find pumpkin- flavored dishes both sweet and savory on local menus throughout the fall. Whether flavoring soups, pies, muffins -- even coffee -- pumpkin provides a quintessential taste of autumn.
"That's one of the seasonal things we do," said Oh Yumm! Bistro owner Patti Crahan, who recently developed several recipes for Taste featuring the versatile fall fruit.
"It's all about freshness."

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