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Try to squash the competition with pumpkin trivia

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POSTED October 3, 2012 7:34 p.m.

Got pumpkins?

Ask that question in Manteca this time of year and you’re liable to get inundated with tons of them.

Manteca - contrary to the well-oiled propaganda machine out of Half Moon Bay - is the true pumpkin capital of the West Coast if not the entire United States.

Half Moon Bay is essentially celebrating a gathering of garden pumpkin growers - call them elitist - from up and down the West Coast who travel to the coastal community in a bid to garner bragging rights for creating pumpkins that are more conducive to hernias than Halloween and fall fun for the masses.

Steady convoys of trucks loaded with orange squash will depart Manteca daily now through the last week of the month destined for markets in Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California as well as the Bay Area. If a Californian has a pumpkin for decorative purposes there is a god chance it came from Manteca.

Given that and the fact this is the weekend of the 28th annual Sunrise Kiwanis Manteca Pumpkin Fair, it’s only appropriate that you test your knowledge of pumpkins. (The answers appear on page 5)

A few pumpkin trivia questions

1. A pumpkin is:

A. A vegetable
B. A protein
C. A noodle
D. A fruit

2. The largest pumpkin ever grown was:

A. 800 pounds
B. 1200 pounds
C. 525 pounds
D. 1502 pounds
E. 1446 pounds

3. When is the best time of year to plant a pumpkin seed?

A. End September/ beginning of October
B. End of May/ beginning of June
C. End of April/ beginning of May
D. End of January/ beginning of February

4. Pumpkins will grow in every country except:

A. South America
B. Africa
E. Alaska
F. Japan
G. Antarctica

5. What is the percentage of water in a pumpkin?

A. 50%
B. 90%
C. 75%
D. 2%

6. Which state grows the most pumpkins?

A. Alabama
B. California
C. Illinois
D. Arizona
E. Florida

7. What were pumpkins once recommended for?

A. Removal of Freckles
B. Diarrhea
C. Curing snake bites
D. Indigestion
E. Both A and C
F. Both B and D

8. What colors are pumpkins available in?

A. Orange
B. Red
C. White
D. Green
E. Yellow
F. Tan
G. Blue
H. All of the above
I. Orange, white and green

9. Which country did the tradition of carving pumpkins come from?

A. Italy
B. Yugoslavia
C. Ireland
D. England
E. Germany

10. Where did the term “pumpkin head” come from in colonial times?

A. The pumpkin meat was placed on the forehead of a sick person to draw out the fever.
B. During Halloween they had pumpkin look alike contests.
C. Pumpkin halves were used as guides for haircuts in colonial times.
D. It meant they were empty headed, referring to the hollow sound made when tapping a pumpkin.

11. Native American Indians used pumpkin for?

A. Food
B. Food and medicine
C. Food, medicine and mats

12. How big was the largest Jack-O’-Lantern carving?

A. 1,469 pounds
B. 1,234 pounds
C. 820 pounds

13. How did the pumpkin pie originate?

A. Someone accidentally poured cinnamon instead of chili powder into a pumpkin that was roasting.
B. As a dessert, colonists would hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with milk, spices and honey and then roast on hot ashes.
C. Back in colony times, a person entertaining filled a pie crust with roasted pumpkin when they realized they were out of apple pie filling

14. In the nursery rhyme peter, peter pumpkin eater, what couldn’t peter do?

A. couldn’t eat no lean
B. couldn’t keep his wife
C. couldn’t eat anything but pumpkin

15. How fast is the fastest documented pumpkin carving?

A. 45.23 seconds
B. 24.03 seconds
C. 8.5 seconds

Pumpkin Trivia Answers: 1. D A fruit, 2. D 1502 pounds, 3. B End of May/ beginning of June, 4. G Antarctica, 5. B 90%, 6. C Illinois, 7. E Both A and C, 8. H All of the above, 9. C Ireland, 10. C Pumpkin halves were used as guides for haircuts in colonial times., 11. C Food, medicine and mats, 12. A 1,469 pounds 13. B As a dessert, colonists would hollow out a pumpkin and fill it with milk, spices and honey and then roast on hot ashes., 14. B keep his wife, 15. B 24.03 seconds

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