Looking for some heirloom pumpkins to spruce up your porch this fall? Or maybe to add to a gourmet autumn dish?
Heirloom pumpkins are heritage cultivated varieties of winter squash that tend to have an elegant appearance and flesh that is well-suited to cooking. Heirloom pumpkins come in many different colors, although shades tend to be more muted than modern carving-type pumpkins. Many popular heirloom pumpkin varieties have been cultivated for over a hundred years, with seeds passed down through generations of pumpkin lovers.
Read on to discover some of the best heirloom pumpkins available!
1. Rouge Vif d’Etampes (Cinderella Pumpkin)
The Rouge Vif d’Etampes (Cinderella Pumpkin) is a large, red-orange heirloom pumpkin variety from France. These pumpkins weigh about 20-30 pounds, and are known for their brightly colored rind and classic flattened heirloom pumpkin shape. Rouge Vif d’Etampes is the variety of heirloom pumpkin used as inspiration for Cinderella’s carriage illustrations (hence its nickname “Cinderella Pumpkin”). While this variety is known for its good looks, it also makes a wonderful cooking pumpkin, and is perfect in fall soups or stews (or roasted whole for a stunning dinner party display).
2. Jarrahdale Heirloom Pumpkin
The Jarrahdale Pumpkin is a medium-large, grey-blue heirloom pumpkin variety from Australia. These are the classic “blue” heirloom pumpkins, with a slate-blue rind and deep, blocky ribs down the sides. A Jarrahdale heirloom pumpkin will typically weigh in the range of 12-18 pounds when ripe. This variety is another type that can be used for decor or for cooking (or both!).
3. Musquée de Provence Pumpkin (Fairytale Pumpkin)
Musquée de Provence Pumpkin (Fairytale Pumpkin) is a medium-large, dusky-tan heirloom pumpkin variety from France. Pumpkins of this variety have deep, chunky ribs and a matte rind. Ripe pumpkins weigh 15-20 pounds. Due to their large size, this variety is generally sold in pre-cut wedges in markets in its home region of southern France. Like many other heirloom pumpkins, the Fairytale/Musquée de Provence makes a fantastic cooking pumpkin (along with being pretty to look at).
4. Long Island Cheese Pumpkin
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin is a medium-sized, tan heirloom pumpkin cultivar from Long Island (NY, USA). These pumpkins have a pale pastel creamy-yellow rind, rather like a big wheel of cheese. Each pumpkin weighs in the range of 6-10 pounds. This variety is popular for pies and is also a great long-term storage pumpkin.
5. Kabocha Japanese Heirloom Pumpkin
Kabocha Pumpkin is a small, dark green heirloom pumpkin variety from Japan. These pumpkins have a rough outer rind and a bright orange interior. The sweet, fine-textured flesh is perfect for making curries, pumpkin breads, and other delicious fall recipes. Each pumpkin ranges in size from about 3-5 pounds. Plants are very productive, producing fruit from mid-summer into autumn.
6. Seminole Pumpkin
Seminole Pumpkin is a small tan heirloom pumpkin from the Everglades (Florida, USA). These pumpkins vary in shape, from little round 2-pound pumpkins to 8-pound butternut-shaped fruits. Originally cultivated by the Seminole people, these pumpkins grow well hanging from trellises, fences, or even trees. Seminole pumpkins are well known for both their resistance to heat and humidity, and for their delicious, smooth taste when cooked.
7. Dickinson Pumpkin
Dickinson Pumpkin is a medium-large, pale-orange heirloom pumpkin cultivar with roots in Kentucky and Illinois (USA). These pumpkins are elongated, and are best known as an excellent pie-making variety. Fruits have slightly pronounced wide ribs, and grow to about 10-14 pounds when ripe. This centuries-old cooking pumpkin is still sought after by pie-makers today.
8. Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Sugar Pie Pumpkin is a small orange heirloom cultivar of pumpkin from New England (USA). Sugar pie pumpkins weigh 2-3 pounds each, and are fantastic for decorating with or for making pumpkin puree for savory dishes. The fruits are quite round and can also be roasted whole or used as a serving dish. Sugar Pie Pumpkins remain some of the most popular heirloom pumpkins to this day.
9. Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin
Marina Di Chioggia Pumpkin is a medium-sized, dark green heirloom pumpkin from the town of Chiogga, Italy (just south of Venice). These Italian heirlooms weigh about 10-12 pounds each, and are known for their warty, wrinkly, almost-bubbly rind. Marina Di Chioggia is an excellent cooking pumpkin, with wedges often served roasted with a bit of olive oil and salt.
10. Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Winter Luxury Pumpkin is a medium-sized, tan heirloom pumpkin cultivar introduced by seed company Johnson & Stokes in 1893. These pumpkins grow to reach 6-8 pounds when ripe, and are known for both their pale, rough rind and incredibly sweet, smooth flesh. Winter Luxury remains a sought-after pie pumpkin for bakers.
11. Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin (Peanut Pumpkin)
Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkin (Peanut Pumpkin) is a medium-sized, tan heirloom pumpkin from France. These pumpkins are known for their peach-colored skin that’s covered in bumpy “warts”! Inside, the flesh is very flavorful, smooth, and sweet. Galeux d’Eysines Pumpkins are well-known as delicious soup-making pumpkins.
12. Connecticut Field Pumpkin
Connecticut Field Pumpkin is a large orange heirloom pumpkin variety from the New England area (USA). Individual pumpkins weigh about 20 pounds, and are slightly taller than they are wide. This centuries-old variety makes beautiful Jack O’Lanterns and can also be used for pies. The Connecticut Field Pumpkin is THE classic American all-round pumpkin variety.
13. Futsu Black Pumpkin
Futsu Black Pumpkin is a small-sized, green-black heirloom pumpkin from Japan. These unique pumpkins are round and very dark green as they start to mature, developing deep ribs and a wrinkly rind. Ripe Black Futsu Pumpkins turn a dusky brown color, weighing about 3 pounds. This variety is known for its long-keeping storage characteristics and the sweet, nutty flavor of its flesh.
14. Buen Gusto De Horno Pumpkin
Buen Gusto De Horno Pumpkin, also called Calabaza Buen Gusto, is a medium-sized, green heirloom pumpkin cultivated in Spain. These ancient pumpkins have a very wrinkled, thick rind and deep ribs. Individual pumpkins weigh 10-15 pounds. As the name suggests, they are known for their great taste as a cooked pumpkin.
15. Jaune Gros De Paris Pumpkin (Yellow Of Paris Pumpkin)
Jaune Gros De Paris Pumpkin (Yellow Of Paris Pumpkin) is a large, yellow heirloom pumpkin variety from France. This big yellow pumpkins typically weigh 40-50 pounds, but can grow to reach over 100 pounds in good conditions. While this heirloom is beautiful, it is known mainly for its tender, sweet cooked flesh. Use this pumpkin variety in pies, soups, or baked goods like pumpkin bread.
16. Tokyo Blue Squash (Tokyo Pumpkin)
Tokyo Blue Squash (Tokyo Pumpkin) is a small, dark green heirloom pumpkin from Tachikawa City, Tokyo (Japan). These early-maturing fruits typically weigh about 5 pounds when ripe, and are known for their incredibly smooth texture and sweet taste when cooked.
17. Queensland Blue Pumpkin
Queensland Blue Pumpkin is a large, blue-grey heirloom pumpkin cultivar from Australia. The gorgeous grey-blue pumpkins have deep ribs and a flattened, almost cylindrical frame. These pumpkins store for many months due to their thick rind. Queensland Blue Pumpkins are sought after for decor, but also make a very sweet golden-colored pumpkin puree.
18. Shishigatani Pumpkin
Shishigatani Pumpkin is a medium-sized, dark green heirloom pumpkin from Kyoto, Japan. This pumpkin has a unique hourglass shape, with a ribbed, warty rind. Shishigatani Pumpkin is a gourmet culinary heirloom pumpkin known for its fine-grained flesh and balanced, earthy flavor.
19. Flat White Boer Pumpkin
Flat White Boer Pumpkin is a large, creamy-white heirloom pumpkin variety historically cultivated in South Africa. These pale pumpkins grow to 25-30 pounds when ripe. This variety is great both for decorating and for use in cooked pumpkin recipes.
20. Moranga Pumpkin
Moranga Pumpkin (abóbora moranga) is a small-medium peach-colored heirloom pumpkin from Brazil. These 4-8 pound pumpkins have deep ribs and are prized as ornamentals. They also make wonderful cooking pumpkins, and are good in soups and stews.
21. Triamble Pumpkin
Triamble Pumpkin is a medium-sized blue-green heirloom pumpkin cultivar from Australia. Fruits have a unique three-lobe shape, and are nicknamed “Shamrock Pumpkins”. These heirloom pumpkins weigh about 8 pounds when ripe, and make just as good cooking pumpkins as they do ornamentals.
22. Thai Kang Kob Pumpkin
Thai Kang Kob Pumpkin is a a small-medium, dark green wrinkled heirloom pumpkin from Thailand. These ribbed, warty fruits grow on pest-resistant plants. Ripe Thai Kang Kob Pumpkins weigh 6-8 pounds, and have excellent cooking characteristics.
23. Blue Doll Pumpkin
Blue Doll Pumpkin is a medium-large, blue-grey modern hybrid pumpkin variety bred to have the appearance and flavor of an old-fashioned heirloom pumpkin. Fruits are deeply ribbed, and reach 15-20 pounds per fruit. The flesh is bright orange, and well-suited for pies, soups, or canning.
24. Porcelain Doll Pumpkin
Porcelain Doll Pumpkin is another medium-large modern hybrid pumpkin bred to have the appearance of an old-fashioned heirloom, but with a pale pink-colored rind. Individual pumpkins weigh 18-22 pounds and are deeply ribbed. A portion of proceeds from Porcelain Doll Pumpkins and seeds goes to support Breast Cancer research.