Pumpkin: Main Image

Buying Tips

Fresh pumpkins usually appear in October and are available through the fall and winter in the produce section of most food markets. Canned, pureed pumpkin is available year-round. While very large pumpkins are decorative and fun to carve, the smaller sizes are more tender and juicy. Choose pumpkins that are firm, blemish-free, and heavy for their size.


Large and round, pumpkins range in size from less than a pound (0.5kg) to more than 100 pounds (50kg). While a deep, cheerful orange is the color most familiar to Americans, pumpkins also come in a variety of colors that range from white and peach to green and blue.

The many varieties of pumpkins are categorized into various classes including: Standard Orange (Small), Standard Orange (Intermediate), Standard Orange (Large), Jumbo, White Painting, the Cushaw Group, and the Naked-Seeded and Miniature kinds. The Small Sugar or New England Pie type is of the Standard Orange (Small) variety, and, as its name suggests, this is the standard type for pies; it weighs between 2 and 5 pounds (1kg–2.5kg).

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.