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As it is coming up to Halloween, there is an abundance of cheap pumpkins in the shops now. I quite like to eat pumpkin rather than carve them. Are the large round orange pumpkins good to eat are are they just grown (with lots of nasty chemicals/fertilizer) to only be used as carved lanterns? From the outside, the shell seems very hard so maybe they will be quite tough. I would more than likely roast the flesh and use it for soup.

UPDATE

From the two other related questions highlighted by @Jefromi, one referenced this article that states:

"All pumpkins may be eaten, but there is a big difference among varieties. Decorative pumpkins, which American children and patient parents carve just before Halloween, are grown with color, structural strength, a flat bottom, and a sturdy stem as their main attributes. The flesh tends to be bland, watery, and fibrous. No one cares because they're going to be carved and smashed in the street (or disposed of properly)."

So from that I would assume that the decorative pumpkins are not very good to eat.

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@Jefromi - thanks for those, don't know how I missed them when searching before posting my question :) –  Piers Myers Oct 27 '10 at 15:14
    
I can see how they'd get lost in the surge of pumpkin questions over the last few weeks! I do find that sometimes the related questions (which appear while you're typing your question, and on the side after you post it) are more what you're looking for than when you search. –  Jefromi Oct 27 '10 at 15:20
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Safe? Or good to eat? Pesticides usually don't penetrate thick-skinned produce (oranges, etc), so as long as you're not using the skin, there's not a lot to worry about.

They're not the best pumpkins to use for other reasons (linked in comments). In summary, the smaller "sugar" pumpkin is better for cooking, if you have the option.

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+1: Exactly. A carving pumpkin is bigger, tougher, and not as tasty. Otherwise it's fine. –  Satanicpuppy Oct 27 '10 at 17:19
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