The Libby’s Pumpkin Story

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The Pumpkin Story

The tradition of eating pumpkin at Thanksgiving came from the Pilgrims, who settled in New England.

The custom was to serve the pumpkin with its head and seeds removed. The cavity was used to fill it with milk, honey and spices. It was then baked until tender.

Now, the pumpkin is served all year round and pureed, either fresh or canned. Libby’s is one of the best canned pumpkin puree.

Canned pumpkin ranking:

First Place is One-Pie canned pumpkin.

Taste – One-Pie version is a”creamy” texture with a“mild sweetness”. The puree is wetter and not as “pumpkin-ee”.

Second Place almost tied for first place is Libby’s canned pumpkin. Taste – Libby’s is a denser “texture” and “sharper” pumpkin flavor. The puree consistency is good and dryer which is probably why the pumpkin taste is stronger.

Can you freeze your homemade pumpkin pie?

Yes, dear you can. But, learn how to freeze your fully baked pumpkin pie. There is a right way and there is a wrong way.

Some say NO because freezing the pie will ruin it and make it taste funny. The results of the pumpkin pie will be a watery filling after thawing and a soggy crust.

How to reheat your pumpkin pie in a microwave oven is critical and easy if you know the basics. The first thing to know is that microwave ovens do not heat things evenly. MORE…

A little story about Libby's:

90% of the pumpkins grown in the United States are farmed within a 80 mile radius of Peoria, Illinois. The town of Morton, close to Peoria, is claimed to be the Pumpkin Capital of the World.

Libby's in Illinois - owned by Nestle Food

Libby´s pumpkin processing plant is located in Morton, Illinois. Nestle Food, a Switzerland company, owns Libby´s. Libby contracts with private farmers and supply the proprietary seed and the equipment to grow their patented pumpkins. About 5,000 acres of the farm land is devoted to producing the Dickinson pumpkins for Libby.

Libby's uses Select Dickinson Pumpkins

Libby´s Select Dickinson Pumpkins are a special strain of Pie Pumpkin used by Libby´s (a division of Carnation Company) for their canned pumpkin. These pumpkins are larger than your normal pie pumpkins. Pie Pumpkins weigh about 5 pounds. The Dickinson’s weigh 10 to 14 pounds, are oblong and tanned in color. They have a much thicker orange flesh and less open space in the center.

How Libby's Canned Pumpkin puree makes it to your store shelves:

Libby uses Dickinson pumpkins which are larger than your traditional pie pumpkin you find in the stores. These pumpkins take about 105 warm days from planting to maturity. They weigh about 12 pounds.

Libby's pumpkins are sweeter and creamy

The Dickinson pumpkins are smaller, squatter, meatier, heavier and sweeter than the Halloween pumpkin. It has a creamy texture and fresh pure pumpkin flavor.

Harvest the pumpkins in late summer

The harvest for the Dickinson pumpkins is in late summer and through the fall. The Dickinson pumpkins are harvested mechanically, using machines that snip the pumpkins off the vines and line them up in a row.

After being cut off their vines the pumpkins are left in the field for an one or two week curing period.

A tractor with a conveyor belt collects the pumpkins from the field and dumps them into a padded truck. The pumpkins are transported to the Libby´s processing plant in Morton, Illinois.

Libby's pumpkins at the processing plant

At the processing plant, the pumpkins go through a disinfectant wash and then rinsed. They get chopped and cooked.

The pumpkins are pureed and canned, which will take less than 24 hours from the farm field to canned pumpkin puree.

Libby's processes 500,000 pumpkins a day

During the harvest, the factory can process 500,000 pumpkins a day into cans.

Now off to big chain stores and your local grocer.

Libby’s® Famous Pumpkin Pie Recipe