Pumpkin volatiles

Because it’s seasonal… Food pairing with pumpkins!

The major classes of compound that flavour fresh pumpkins are aliphatic alcohols and carbonyls, furan derivatives and sulfur-containing compounds.

Major constituents (and foods that will match them) are:

  • (Z)-3-hexenol – broccoli, sweet peppers
  • (E)-2-hexenal – ripe tomatoes, habanero peppers (!)
  • 2-3-butanedione (diacetyl) – butter, some beers, chardonnay, sweet potato
  • 3-(methylthio)propanal – potato, red wine (especially cabernets)
  • methylformylthiophene – seemingly this compound is characteristic of pumpkin!
  • dimethyl sulphide – some butters, corn, cabbage, beetroot, seafoods
  • furfural – corn, oat and wheat bran

…Which explains why last year’s pumpkin lasagne with broccoli and salmon was so good!


About Invader Xan

Molecular astrophysicist, usually found writing frenziedly, staring at the sky, or drinking mojitos.
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5 Responses to Pumpkin volatiles

  1. underwr1tten says:

    Yes… I use the Thai version so often, I forgot there are others. :p
    I’ll post the recipes on my journal in a little while. I’ve been meaning to do so for some time now, and this is a great excuse.

  2. invaderxan says:

    Thai red curry paste, you mean? That’s interesting… I can see that working well.
    Oooo! Please do end me recipes! Recipes are always good… :D

  3. underwr1tten says:

    Red curry paste is also a delicious complement, but you have to be careful and use less than you’d probably like, or the spice will overwhelm the delicate pumpkin flavor.
    Oh, and roasted butternut squash with balsamic vinaigrette on spring greens/arugula/baby spinach and fresh goat cheese is wonderful. If you want more specific recipes, I can send them to you. :)

  4. invaderxan says:

    That’s a pity… They’re so versatile!
    Each to their own though, I suppose.
    My latest favourite trick is to get a big butternut squash, cut it into wedges and then roast them like potato wedges. Actually mixed squash and sweet potato makes a nice healthy alternative to chips.

  5. Seriously, if I could, I’d eat pumpkin year round! Sadly, my husband is a weirdo and doesn’t like squash or pumpkins, so it puts a damper on doing lots of cooking with them!

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