How To Pick the Perfect Pumpkin
One of the best things about fall is searching for the perfect pumpkin. You can find them just about everywhere this time of year--farmer's markets, pumpkin patches, even your favorite grocery store--but not all pumpkins are the same.
Here are some helpful tips to make sure you get the right one:
1. Check the pumpkins for soft spots and signs of mold. Don't forget to check underneath, and press on it with your thumbs. If it gives a little, the pumpkin isn't fresh.
2. Pumpkins continue to ripen and will get more orange after they're picked. So choosing a lighter pumpkin NOW could give you a perfect deep orange one by Halloween.
3. Look for one that has its handle or stem intact. Also, a dark green stem is a sign it was picked recently, compared to a brown stem.
4. Pumpkins with flat walls and no deep ribs are better for carving. And skip the tall, oblong pumpkins--they typically have stringier flesh which makes precise cuts difficult.
5. Once you think you've found the one, set it on a flat surface to be sure it sits upright.
Whether you're carving, decorating, or cooking with them, hopefully this list helps you pick the perfect pumpkins.