Iran Pumpkin: The Oldest Pumpkin on the Farm

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Iran pumpkin - tall clover farm
Two Iran pumpkins, both celebrating turning one year old.
Iran pumpkin - tall clover farm
Two Iran pumpkins, still looking good after one year off the vine.

Pumpkins are my favorite field crop to grow; the vines and tendrils twist in artistic revelry; the leaves unfurl like giant sunbrellas, the blossoms are unapologetic showstoppers, and the fruit, well, the fruit is nothing less than a richly patinaed living sculpture. Oh yes, and don’t forget, the plump darlings make unparalleled pie along with savory and sweet soups, sauces, baked goods and side dishes.

fresh Iran Pumpkins
Iran pumpkins are a kaleidoscope of color when first picked, the intense hues mellowing to creamy oranges and yellows as they mature.

Iran pumpkins have another quality unmatched in any other pumpkin I’ve grown: longevity. The three Iran pumpkins I harvested last year in October 2012 are still firmly intact and decorating my harvest table in October 2013. I wish I could tell you how they taste, but they look so good, I can’t quite bare to roast them, besides I have warty ones for that purpose. Several sources have suggested that Iran pumpkins are better lookers than tasters, though I cannot verify that at this time. I would think the pumpkin has some culinary chops considering it has been on Persian tables for hundreds of years.

Boz the bulldog and the pumpkins
Boz has nothing against pumpkins, but he’s a little put out they’re hogging up his favorite perch.

And even if Iran pumpkins lack depth in the culinary department, they easily make up for it in the eye-candy department. Pretty to look it is good enough for me.

iran pumpkin on the vine
Iran pumpkin: a brightly-colored gem in the pumpkin patch.

Have you ever tasted or cooked an Iran pumpkin. Is so, what did you think? Tasty? Just Okay? Delicious? Let me know in the comments, please.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. Beautiful! How many days to maturity on these? In the Upper Skagit where I live it’s challenging to get winter squash fully ripe before the rain and molds and wilts set in. But i’d love to grow some of these. My current favorite local squash, which I did not grow, is sweet meat, but they are not much for looks. Red Kuri is pretty as well as tasty, however.

  2. I have tried these! I grew them probably eight years ago now (in my NH garden at the time); they were utterly gorgeous (grew blue-and-salmon colored for me) and did last quite awhile, but when I tried the flesh it was disappointing–pale, watery, stringy, not at all flavorful, I thought. I’d grown Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash the year before, and that was what the Iran’s flesh reminded me of. I seem to remember the following year, I couldn’t get the seed again–I want to say I’d purchased it from Seed Saver’s, and they’d had a crop failure, so perhaps that contributed to the poor eating quality of the flesh. But then, who knows? I didn’t keep mine a whole year before baking them up, so possibly it improves as it dries out over time? In any event, in this household, whatever winter squash doesn’t quite meet with the cook’s approval is roasted, portioned, and set aside for the dog, who is happy to eat any orange vegetable she encounters in her dish.

    • Thanks Anne for the great comment. Lots of info, most appreciated. As I mentioned in the comment above, I’m eager to share my experience with Candy Roaster Squash, a Southern Heirloom which is reputed for super sweetness and flavor, as its name suggest. I just need to roast the thing. 😉

      • Grew those this year, too 🙂 (Great pumpkin minds thinking alike?) I’ll be curious to see what you thought…the only drawback we had to an otherwise killer garden year was the cooler-than-normal August temps which seem to be causing the squashes not to hold as long as they usually do. So I’ve already had to cook up better than half the candy roaster haul! If, since I’ve liked your blog’s facebook page, you’re able to see mine (https://www.facebook.com/anne.markel.3), you can go there and take a look at the Class of 2013 group pumpkin shot we did at the harvest a couple of weeks ago.

          • Butternut-like. Delicious. Definitely benefited from the addition of a couple of pears in the roasting dish. The seeds are killer, too (I roast & grind them for meal, as I find the hulled ones too chewy & a bit unpleasant for snacking on as is). The flesh was a bit wetter than some others, though I don’t know how much of that was a result of the very generous rainfalls we had all summer; I made some into gingerbread & let it drain in a colander for several hours first. Perfect!

  3. Wow-impressive. I can’t imagine them lasting that long…..that’s wonderful!
    And yes–they’re gorgeous. So what if the taste isn’t “up to snuff”—I’d grow them just for looks!

  4. Pretty pumpkins, Tom. I have a pumpkin left from this time last year. It came up in the compost pile and wandered up a nearby azalea. I did not expect it to last so long. It looks a lot like your Iran pumpkin. I think the seed came from a “Cinderella’s coach” type that I bought the previous year for decoration. After Thanksgiving, I will try roasting it. The chickens will enjoy it if we don’t like it.

  5. Beautiful pumpkins! I’ve only tried growing pumpkins in my little garden once; a French variety. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much success and gave up after that — bacterial wilt : ( Everything in your garden always looks so healthy!

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