Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pumpkin Palooza!

Last week a friend had tipped my off about Trader Joe's Pumpkin Body Butter.
It sounded so wonderful I decided to drive downtown to get some and at the same time check out how fall was doing in city.
Autumn arrives later downtown in the valley so when the fall colors in the mountains and canyons peter out, an autumn encore presentation can be found among the cityscape.
Camera beside me in the car I arrived at Trader's Joe and discovered an unexpected autumn treat:
Now I have noticed over the past decade or two that pumpkin options have increase beyond the standard pumpkin style of my childhood, the orangy-yellow things that Linus sat amongst in the sincere pumpkin patch while he awaited the arrival of the Great Pumpkin.
I think it was Martha Stewart who first touted the decorating possibilities of the new-to-me white pumpkins, back in the 90's was it?
Mini pumpkins also appeared.
Then "Cinderella" pumpkins, of French origin I was told, showed up in the markets while I lived in Houston.
The buff colored hazy skinned beauties did look like the pumpkins of fairy tales. 

I must have not been watching pumpkin experimentation/cultivation very closely (or truthfully, not at all...) over the last five years or so.
The Pumpkin varieties now being offered for sale in front of Trader Joe's absolutely blew my mind.
I quickly went inside the store, purchased some Pumpkin Body Butter jars, returned to my car and grabbed my camera.

Are these not the wildest, most amazing and beautiful pumpkins that you have ever seen?
I wasn't the only one in awe. 
People were stopping and gawking and exclaiming all around me as I snapped away.

I got a few pumpkin close-ups...

Marveled that this isn't a cracked pumpkin but rather the way it naturally grows with crackle like seams.
I was looking closely at it as the store's produce manager walked by.
He stopped to talk with me about it.
So interesting!

Now I had seen warty looking gourds my whole life.
Still, seeing them nestled in amongst the new squashes, I enjoyed them anew.

The big red orange ones with deep green and then lighter orange seemed like a ceramic painting experiment gone awry.
They were actually perfect...they just grow that way.

Someone charged with arranging the pumpkin palooza had cleverly gathered all the white pumpkins in one space.
Looking at them was like a visual palate cleanser between mad cap colors courses.

The pumpkin in the upper left corner is one of the French Cinderella style pumpkins.
They really don't look real.
The first time I saw one I touched it thinking it was a seasonal decoration that would have a sticker reading "Made in China" on it somewhere!

The bumpy green pumpkin...ooohhh!
(Several of us wondered how these things would taste cooked up.)

Even the mini pumpkins were dappled and speckled, unlike the solid orange way that I had always seen them sold before.

That butterscotch/gold/orange pumpkin...
So elegant and rustic at the same time.

A rainbow of colors pumpkin!

Blue greyish green pumpkins....
The hazy skinned ones apparently go shiny as they mature.

Now could anyone decide if one could only have one of theses little jewels?
(Yes, I would like the whole bushel please.)

Actually I would like the whole palooza delivered to my place please.

The almost black green and orange and cream of this pumpkins: who developed this one?

And the one that looks like dark chocolate was poured over it?
Oh how I wish Trader Joe's had put up something explaining which university or farmer had done the development of these pumpkin strains or who had found heritage seeds or ??? or ???
Are crazy new pumpkins showing up where you live?
Any Pumpkin Paloozas going on in your neck of the woods?
Do tell!


Vee said...

Some, but not all. You really have shown us many gorgeous pumpkins!

ellen b. said...

That's an amazing variety. I'll look today as I think we are headed to Country Village...

Anneliese said...

Simply amazing! Aren't they beautiful? I actually stop and look at them now too when I see the display at the grocery store. I never really liked plain pumpkins, maybe because I don't "prefer " (as my grands would put it)the color orange.

Lorrie said...

Such variety! I've seen more around our markets this year, too.

Kathie said...

That's a lot of pumpkins! I grew the Cinderella kind one year - very pretty for Jack O Lanterns