Quest for pumpkin
February 8, 2024 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Trying to find a supermarket in the Manhattan area that you know carries frozen (or canned, I guess) diced pumpkin with NO additives (i.e., ingredients list just reads "pumpkin").

Butternut (or other) squash doesn't count. FreshDirect doesn't have it. Nor does Wegman's.

Bonus points if it's Lower Manhattan, but I will trek (I'd just rather not trek to fifty different places on a futile quest).
posted by praemunire to Shopping (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you clarify that you are looking for diced pumpkin and that pumpkin puree is not what you want?

I have had luck browsing store inventories by looking at instacart to see if/where things are in stock.
posted by vunder at 2:17 PM on February 8

Google says Trader Joe's organic pumpkin in a can is just pumpkin.
Please go to Trader Joe's for me because I can't.
posted by Dashy at 2:17 PM on February 8

Response by poster: Not puree. I do need diced pumpkin, for Reasons.

(Don't worry, Dashy, I'm sure I'll be there again soon.)
posted by praemunire at 2:19 PM on February 8

Best answer: Butternut (or other) squash doesn't count.

You might have a problem. In short, the USDA doesn't really differentiate between the cucurbits we call "pumpkins" and the cucurbits we call "squash," so a can labeled "pumpkin" could contain any of a number of gourd strains. Libby's canned pumpkin, for example, is a proprietary strain of Dickinson pumpkin, which more closely resembles a butternut squash than anything you'd carve into a jack-o'-lantern. Good luck!
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:01 PM on February 8 [16 favorites]

Response by poster: Huh! Learn something new every day. However, I will accept anything that is labeled "pumpkin" even if it is sekritly a Dickinson.
posted by praemunire at 3:44 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Wow. The only listing I even find online for frozen diced pumpkin is Great Value (Walmart) brand that doesn't seem to be available anywhere... searching the common grocers just gives me results for butternut squash.

And the few diced canned options I see online all have syrups. You've really found a difficult challenge. (On a side note, I did not know there was powdered pumpkin out there...)

Is buy a whole pumpkin and chop it up not an option?

Or replacing the label on a package of diced butternut? (I can imagine Reasons where this would be a perfectly reasonable solution, lol.)
posted by stormyteal at 3:57 PM on February 8 [1 favorite]

Presumably South Africa is too far to trek. That’s the only retail product I could find other than the apparently unobtainable Walmart one stormyteal mentioned.
posted by staggernation at 4:20 PM on February 8

Response by poster: Is buy a whole pumpkin and chop it up not an option?

Not if I want to keep all ten fingers. It is indeed surprising how hard it is to find instead of butternut squash!
posted by praemunire at 4:41 PM on February 8

Have you tried looking for kabocha? It’s very very similar to a pumpkin though the skin is edible so sometimes it’s still on there. I like the skin though and depending on your application it’s a plus. I’ve seen frozen chunked kabocha both in Whole Foods and in different packages at my nearby Uwajimaya, an Asian supermarket. I’m sorry I can’t help with local suggestions but you might have some luck asking around for kabocha (or I believe danhobak in Korean). Related to their edible skin, kabocha are also easier to cut since they are somewhat smaller and you don’t need to peel them, so you might be able to do it yourself and have portions frozen for whatever mysterious purpose in the future.
posted by Mizu at 9:46 PM on February 8

Libbys 100% pure pumpkin and Kroger brand both list pumpkin as their only ingredient. Is it secretly squash? I don't know.
posted by The_Vegetables at 7:12 AM on February 9

The pumpkin is South Africa is very likely a squash other than the round type we here in the US call pumpkin. In much of the world "pumpkin" just refers to what we call winter squash. Which makes perfect sense, as a lot of very different-looking winter squashes belong to the same species as what we call pumpkin. (There is no scam involved in calling a Dickinson squash a pumpkin!)
posted by metonym at 8:22 AM on February 9 [2 favorites]

If you do want to consider buying a whole pumpkin, you might be able to protect your fingers if you just cut in half and bake it in the oven that way and then dice it after it is cooked. Just don't cook as long as recipes that assume you want to make puree - it will be too soft to get decent cubes.
posted by metahawk at 11:40 AM on February 9 [1 favorite]

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