Pumpkin is too watery and stringy to can, and the USDA has an exceptionally loosey-goosey definition of "pumpkin," which allows manufacturers to can various winter squash varieties (including one that Libby's specially bred to substitute for pumpkin) and call it "100% pumpkin."
Here's my thing: When all the gourd execs sat around the boardroom table and came to the conclusion that, "Dang, pumpkin just isn't going to work," why didn't they just come right out with it and announce, "SQUASH IS THE NEW PUMPKIN!" just like when Neiman Marcus told us gingham was the new stripe?! (P.S. It wasn't. That was also a lie, and I looked like I was wearing a tablecloth.) This is my hangup on the whole issue. Not that all of my favorite pumpkin things suddenly taste gross now that I know what they're really made of–but I'm a trusting girl, and I was deceived. Is nothing sacred? If it's no big deal to call a blend of squashes "pumpkin," who's to say anything is what it says it is? That's something for you to chew on.
I Just Found Out Canned Pumpkin Isn't Pumpkin At All, And My Whole Life is Basically a Lie
[Emma Crist/Food and Wine]
(Image: Rotting Pumpkins, Natalie Maynor, CC-BY)