Is There A Real Difference Between White And Orange Pumpkins?

While pumpkin desserts and treats are increasingly popular in the fall, pumpkin-packed dishes can be enjoyed any time of year, since canned pumpkin is stocked on grocery store shelves year-round, regardless of the season. Throughout the autumn months, though, you may be more likely to find this fruit in its natural form at your local farmer's market during peak season. 

If you're looking to eat more pumpkin this fall, try incorporating the produce into hearty dishes to reap some major health benefits. Pumpkin (though perhaps not in pie form) is incredibly good for you, as it's packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant that the body converts into vitamin A when consumed, according to Medical News Today. In fact, one cup of cooked pumpkin contains nearly three grams of fiber, two grams of protein, and just 49 calories. Pumpkins are also made up of more than 90% water, per Healthline, so consuming it can help keep you hydrated. 

As you're perusing a pile of orange gourds at your local farm stand looking for the perfect pie pumpkin, you may come across an assortment of white pumpkins. While, yes, you can eat certain varieties of white pumpkins, you may be curious about what the real difference is between the orange and white varieties, if anything.

There's no major difference

While white pumpkins make for great farmhouse-style decor, aside from the difference in their outer color, there's not much difference when compared to orange pumpkins. Both orange and white pumpkins are edible, and white ones can be used in place of orange pumpkins in most sweet and savory recipes, per New Life on a Homestead. While their outsides might look different, most white pumpkins contain a range of pale to dark orange flesh, according to The Kitchn

And as for the taste, the flesh of white pumpkin tastes comparable to that of the orange varieties. If you're interested in trying the white varieties in your favorite pumpkin dishes, look for Lumina, Valenciano, and Polar Bear, which are a few types of white pumpkin that are ideal for both cooking and baking (via The Kitchn). Regardless of the outer color of your pumpkin, remember these tips for picking a good one to cook with from Today — pick a pumpkin that's uniform in color, has no soft spots, and weighs roughly between three and six pounds.