Linus Van Pelt said it best, so I will let him say it for himself:
There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.
Yes, you read that right, welcome to the end of October and the obligatory Halloween episode of Sarah Sexy Plants. What mayhem will us meddling kids get into today? Why, pumpkins of course!
If this wasn’t the most exciting part of your Halloween celebration as a child, well then, you were doing it wrong. Unless, of course, you were a virgin lighting a black candle, befriending talking cats, and unleashing a sexy Sarah Jessica Parker more terrifying than Carrie Bradshaw. In that case, carry on. (Real talk: once you were old enough to know what a virgin was, Hocus Pocus instantly became the best Halloween movie of all time, am I right?)
But not enough credit is given to Linus for spreading the good news of this forgotten-except-for-this-time-of-the-year member of the squash family. I mean, what do you think of when you think of pumpkin? Roasting seeds? Jack-o-Lanterns? Perhaps that strange can of “pumpkin” one can buy at the grocery store this time of year but might actually be other squashes instead? Maybe you’re one of those people who look at a pumpkin and thinks “Man, do I want to build a device and use explosives to fling that poor defenseless squash hurtling through the air.” Whatever you are into, man.
But I bet that none of you think about how sexy the pumpkin is. That’s right. I said it. SEXY.
Pumpkins, for the most part, are Cucurbita pepo, along with other squashes, gourds, and the summer squashes like the Zucchini (some of the monster pumpkins that are grown these days and win at county fairs are crosses of C. pepo and C. maxima, but the traditional orange ball with stem that comes to mind when you think of a pumpkin comes from a domesticated strain of C. pepo). It is native (along with all the other squashes) to North America where evidence of pumpkin (or pumpkin related) seeds were found in Mexico dating back 5000-7000 years. And although the end of October through Thanksgiving in November seem to be the only time anyone cares about the poor pumpkin it comes on strong for its 30 days of dominance: just try to order any food right now that isn’t “pumpkin spiced.” I personally hate it, but that rabid fanaticism of the pumpkin eaters really works – pumpkins are still one of the largest crops grown in the United States with over 1.5 billion (with a B!) pounds grown each year.
Now let’s talk about the effect of all that pumpkin below the belt. According to a study done by the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago (which is apparently a real thing), the smell of pumpkin pie will increase blood flow to the penis by 40%. So that may explain all of the world’s obsession with pumpkin spiced things at the moment. Turns out, it is an aphrodisiac. Who knew?