Pumpkins flying off shelves for Halloween, says Coldiretti

Pulp of favourite fruit packed with antioxidants - farm group

(ANSA) - Rome, October 30 - One day before Halloween, prices for large pumpkins ready to be hollowed out and carved as a jack-o'-lantern are jumping as sales climb, farm group Coldiretti said Thursday.
    Prices that normally average between one euro and 1.5 euros per pound have doubled recently, good news for producers who tend to be focused in Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont and even the Veneto, the organization said.
    A good pumpkin for ornamental use could run anywhere from five euros to 25 euros, depending on size.
    Despite other kinds of decorations such as scary cats, witches, and harvest moons, carved pumpkins remain the favourite image for the Halloween, said Coldiretti.
    And the flesh inside the pumpkin, which is a form of fruit, is popular for its versatility in the kitchen as well as packing a punch with a high content of such antioxidants as vitamin A.
    About 2,000 hectares of Italian land is covered in pumpkin patches, ranging from Mantua and Cremona to Ferrara and Venice.
    Some farmers are also working to restore traditional marine pumpkin production in Chioggia in the Veneto region, the organization said.
   

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