Is Canned Pumpkin Actually Made With Pumpkins?

Whether you love making pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread or even savory pumpkin dishes like hummus or pasta, canned pumpkin becomes a hot commodity once fall arrives and pumpkin spiced-everything hits the shelves. But what's actually inside the can is probably far from what you are imagining. While it is indeed a type of pumpkin, and squash for that matter, it isn't the same kind of pumpkin you are picking up to decorate your doorstep.

As it turns out, pumpkins are actually a type of squash within the Cucurbitaceae family which has nearly 1,000 different species (via Country Living). To make things even weirder, squashes, and therefore pumpkins, are actually a fruit and not a vegetable. All of this is to explain that the type of pumpkin inside cans of orange puree, is actually another variety or species of squash than what is often used for decorating and carving (via Food & Wine).

Canned pumpkin is actually squash

The kind of fruit that is actually used to make canned pumpkin puree is actually the Dickinson pumpkin, which is also called Dickinson squash (via Food & Wine). These squashes are more oblong than filed pumpkins and have a smooth skin that is a yellowish tan color. These squashes are usually a lot larger than field pumpkins, but the best advantage they have over field pumpkins is really their taste.

According to the outlet, field pumpkins do not have the most desirable taste or texture because they tend to be watery and stringy with almost no flavor. If you've actually carved a field pumpkin, chances are you haven't found what's inside them to be too appetizing. It's the flesh of Dickinson squashes that are what we actually associate with the beloved orange field pumpkins. So, don't be fooled the next time you pick up a can of pumpkin that has a drawing of a recognizable field pumpkin on it. You'll know what's actually inside the can.