The word pumpkin originated from the Greek word Pepõn which means large melon. The word gradually morphed by the French, English and then Americans into the word pumpkin. Pumpkins and squash are believed to have originated in the ancient Americas. These early pumpkins were not the traditional round orange upright Jack-O-Lantern we think of when we hear the word pumpkin. They were a crooked neck variety which stored well.
Pumpins are an inexpensive source of important nutrients.Their bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. Pumpkins are not only loaded with Vitamin A but also fiber, and are low in calories. Don't throw away the seeds! They're high in protein, iron, and the B vitamins.
This poem is a testament to the Pilgrims' dependence on pumpkins for food.
Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies,
We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon,
If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon.
Pilgrim verse circa 1633