If I told you pumpkins are a fruit, would you believe me? Sure, the next thing I’ll try to tell you is that the world is round. Well, pumpkins are indeed a fruit, and if you want them to last longer you’ll have to keep them away from ripening fruit and keep them off concrete. If you’re going to carve your pumpkins, hold off as long as you can since the shell is the only defense a pumpkin has against pests and disease.
When pumpkins are first harvested they are either processed or cured. The curing process involves heat and humidity control and serves to make the outer shell harder. Processing turns pumpkins into canned pumpkin, and the pumpkin capital of the world is a little town outside of Peoria, Illinois called Morton. Over 100,000 tons of pumpkin are processed there each year.
Illinois is the untouchable leader in pumpkin production in the United States, weighing in at almost 550 million pounds of pumpkins each year. California is second at nearly 200 million pounds. Weighing in at around 100 million pounds each are Ohio, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania. Learn all about pumpkin production in the United States from this infographic.