It’s time to reveal the naked truth lurking behind the mask of … pumpkin puree.

It turns out that canned pumpkin is not actually made of pumpkin at all! It’s a mix of various other winter squashes. Even if it says “100% Pure Pumpkin” on the label (and I’m glaring at you, Libby).


What is the reasoning behind all of this deception? Well, pumpkins are apparently “too stringy” and not sweet enough.

But, in my opinion, this excuse isn’t worth even a pinch of nutmeg. I make pumpkin bread every fall with fresh pie pumpkins, and it’s far more delicious than the version I have to make with canned “pumpkin” during the other parts of the year (when fresh ones aren’t available).

The dearth of our favorite vegetable within the cans bearing its name means that you’re eating butternut-squash pie and your favorite seasonal drink is a Squash Spice Latte. Libby’s, the company that makes about 85% of all canned pumpkin puree, has even created its own proprietary strain of squash that is far more closely related to the butternut than the jack-o-lantern.

I now question the entire world in which we live.

Photo by K.O.


4 thoughts on “Unspecified Gourd Bread

  1. As with all foodstuffs, using the “real” ingredient is likely be cost prohibitive. I’ve cooked with sugar pumpkins and they yield little but tasty fruit at a very high cost per pound. Then I tried the “Organic” label Libby pumpkin (my friend said labeling restrictions make them use more real pumpkin???) but the cans were more expensive and surprise-surprise they taste less like “pumpkin” than my taste buds recognize. At this point, I’ve drunk the punch and subservient to the squash mix… Long Live The New Flesh. (I wonder if anyone will get that reference.)

    1. Cronenberg, right? 😉
      Yeah, I too am a “new-flesh adopter” now, at least until sugar pumpkins become available. We have no choice!

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