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We Loveland: Pumpkin Time

What, you ask, could be more American than the pumpkin? At Halloween, what front porch of our dreams is truly of our dreams without the Jack-O-Lantern glowing? Where would our national thanksgiving for the harvest be without the pie? In fact, our carved holiday pumpkins are relations of Celtic tubers which were carved to acknowledge the spirit world, and of course pumpkins (likely native to the ancient Americas) are celebrated all over the world. Eaten in umpteen delicious ways, these recipes make our pumpkin bagels, pumpkin lattes and pumpkin-flavored chips a national shame. Consider the tortelli di zucca of Mantova, the tian of France, the pastel de calabaza con almendras of Portugal, the fritters of South Africa, the locros of South America, Japanese baked pumpkin from Hokkaido, kim kueh ker, from China, and…

As it happens, I’ve tasted all of these, but I hadn’t had the popular favorite, roast pumpkin fondue, which I think first appeared in Gourmet Magazine in 2008. But this week, lovely Rebecca of Pop+Dutch made it as a treat between roasting beef for sandwiches and making one of her delicious soups. If the multiple Google links to the fondue recipe are an indication, I am the only person who hadn’t tasted this pumpkin deliciousness. It’s cheesy but also slightly continental, especially if you use white wine instead of broth.

You can make this with any size pumpkin, just adjust proportions accordingly. In addition to whole pumpkin, you’ll need slices of toasted baguette, layered alternately with heavy cream, broth or wine/water, nutmeg, grated Gruyère and Emmental cheeses, olive oil for the pan and the pumpkin skin, salt and pepper. Four times cheese to broth is a good guide, and bake till bronzed and collapsed.

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