Here It Is: The Best Canned Pumpkin For Your Pie


By Cooking Panda

Pumpkins may be orange like Donald Trump’s tan, but I think it is safe to say that they are certainly not quite as divisive as he is. On the whole, the majority of Americans appreciate the special gourds for what they are: delicious in many forms.

Many people customarily enjoy pumpkin pie around the holidays, and if you are planning on making the staple treat this year, you’ll probably need to pick up a pie or two’s worth of the canned stuff. It’s easy, pre-pureed, and usually ends up being pretty dang tasty.

So which brand of canned pumpkin should you spend your money on?

Luckily, our pals over at Cooking Illustrated took on the task of sampling three widely available canned pumpkin products to break it down. Which variety reigns elite? And which one fails to live up to its competitors?

The three different brands varied both in hue and texture; some looked bright orange, as we are accustomed to pumpkin-products looking; others looked anemic. Some were more pulpy, while others offered taste-testers more of a baby-food-like mouthfeel (yuck).

Ultimately, between the three contenders, Libby’s, One-Pie and Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin, one was crowned the obvious winner.

Folks, get yourself over to a store and pick up a can of Libby’s.

According to the testers, Libby’s won because it had a silky and smooth consistency (which is just what you want when digging your fork into a nice, comforting slice of beautiful pumpkin pie) and a subtle sweetness that did not overpower anybody’s palate.

Apparently, Libby’s uses Dickinson pumpkins, which are largely recommended because they boast both a tender flesh and a natural sweet flavor profile, which doesn’t need additional additives to make it taste good.

Thankfully, you probably won’t have to search too hard to find yourself a can of Libby’s — the brand makes 85 percent of the world’s canned pumpkins, which means that even if you have no luck in your first grocery store, you should be able to snag yourself a can or two easily, no matter where you live.

Sources: Cooks Illustrated / Photo Credit: Cooks Illustrated

Tags: canned pumpkin, libby's, pumpkin, Pumpkin Pie, Taste Test
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Turns Out Your Pumpkin In A Can Is Not What It Seems


By Cooking Panda

Halloween may be over, but the holiday season is now upon is, which means pumpkins are still very, very much a trend.

You can bake them in a pie; you can roast their seeds; you can spice them up and shove them in a Starbucks drink to start a mania.

However, BuzzFeed has recently reported that all that canned pumpkin you’ve been picking up at the stores lately? Yeah — apparently it’s not necessarily pumpkin. In fact, in many cases, it’s actually butternut squash.

The horror!

As we know, pumpkins are gourds; however, not all gourds are our beloved, spooky, delicious and iconic pumpkins. 

According to BuzzFeed, even if your can of pumpkin’s label literally says that it is made with 100% authentic Halloween-pumpkin goodness (can you tell we’re still mourning the end of our favorite holiday?) that doesn’t mean it is actually made with that round, orange gourd you so know and love.

The pumpkin puree that you purchase in the grocery store is often made of squash instead.

It turns out that claiming that the cans of pumpkin are 100% pumpkin when they aren’t is actually something that’s been going on for a long time — in fact, it’s written about in a 1957 USDA document.

The text reads, “Canned pumpkin and canned squash is the canned product prepared from clean, sound, properly matured, golden fleshed, firm shelled, sweet varieties of either pumpkins or squashes by washing, stemming, cutting, steaming and reducing to a pulp.”

Yikes, ya’ll.

Apparently, companies have been substituting squash for pumpkins because even though everybody loves the look of a jack-o-lantern on Halloween night, or enjoys the idea of the squat, orange gourds transforming into functional carriages in fairytales, their flavor profile is allegedly more dull and less sweet compared to squash. Also, pumpkins aren’t the easiest thing to handle in the kitchen.

Oh well — as long as you stuff our pies full of all the correct spices, we suppose we can live with this reveal.

Source: BuzzFeed / Photo credits: Junior Master Gardener, USDA via BuzzFeed

Tags: butternut squash, canned pumpkin, gourds, pumpkin, usda
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