Picture yourself on a chilly winter day in Canberra. You are led by a delightful aroma to a warm and inviting kitchen, where a delicious medley of flavours is about to be revealed. At the centre of this culinary journey, two unassuming yet extraordinary ingredients take the spotlight: pumpkins and potatoes, the focal points of this month’s “What’s in Season”.
Pumpkins and potatoes are essential ingredients found in kitchens across the globe. Their reliable texture and incredible versatility, coupled with their abundant nutritional benefits, have made them incredibly popular choices for incorporating vegetables into meals effortlessly.
Both pumpkins and potatoes have captivating historical backgrounds that span centuries. Pumpkins originated in North America and have been cultivated for over 7,000 years. Native Americans loved pumpkins for their nutritional value and storage capabilities. European explorers were intrigued by pumpkins and introduced them to other parts of the world. Potatoes, on the other hand, were first domesticated in South America around 7,000-10,000 years ago. They played an important role in the Inca civilisation and were later brought to Europe by Spanish conquerors. Potatoes revolutionised European agriculture and became a staple food source.
Pumpkins are full of vitamins C and A, antioxidants and fibre, all of which promote healthy vision and immune function. Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fibre, which aid heart health and digestion. Their widespread popularity can be linked to their affordability, availability, and ability to be a reliable food source, especially during times of hardship and famine. Also, their ability to be stored for extended periods without spoiling made them essential in providing sustenance throughout history.
The beauty of both pumpkins and potatoes is that they can be used in sweet and savoury dishes. You may have heard pumpkins and potatoes described as comfort foods, with their ability to evoke feelings of warmth and nostalgia through yummy dishes like pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes. If you’re looking for your next recipe, try this delicious rosemary potato and pumpkin bake from Women’s Weekly. Few things are as satisfying and heart-warming as a cosy, oven-baked dish during the winter season.
At Market, we have Luke’s Potatoes and Pumpkins, Ingelara, Greenhill Farm, and a variety of stalls ready to supply marketgoers with delicious pumpkins and potatoes including organic varieties every Saturday. Make sure you give our stallholders a visit and try out the delicious produce for yourself!
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