The American Tondo Pumpkin is so cool looking! This round pumpkin is a rich yellow with wide, deep lobes that have dark green, speckled stripes running vertically in between them.
When I visited my local heirloom pumpkin patch this past fall, I was so charmed by the displays of American Tondo. Their perfect round shape and unique looks, displayed en masse, really stood out among all of the other gorgeous specimens (and that’s saying something, because this farm—Gordon Skagit Farms—is somewhere a squash and pumpkin fiend can REALLY geek out on all of the cool varieties and displays!)
While it’s striking in displays, it turns out the American Tondo Pumpkin is more than just a pretty face. With its delicious flesh, it’s an excellent pumpkin for culinary uses too.
TASTE & TEXTURE: Sweet and nutty with dense, dry flesh
ALSO KNOWN AS: American Tonda Squash, Tonda Padana, American Tonda, The Americana
In this Article
- About American Tondo Pumpkin
- Origin of the American Tondo
- Nutrition & Benefits
- How to Choose American Tondo Pumpkin
- How to Cook American Tondo Pumpkin
- More To Read
About American Tondo Pumpkin
Scientific name: Cucurbita pepo
The American Tondo Pumpkins I saw at my local heirloom pumpkin farm were all fairly uniform in size, ranging from about 12- to 15-inches in diameter. They typically grow between 7-12 pounds per pumpkin but can reportedly grow up to 15 pounds.
Origin of the American Tondo
Reports vary about the origin of the American Tondo. It looks very similar to the Mongogo Du Guatemala, and some say it originated there in Guatemala. But most claim it to be an Italian squash.
Squash and pumpkins made their way to Europe during the Columbian Exchange in the 1400s and 1500s, so it’s safe to say the pumpkin or its relatives did first come from South America way back when. But now, it is definitely considered an Italian squash, which tracks because this one, with its dry flesh, is absolutely spectacular in gnocchi!
Nutrition & Benefits
Like other winter squash and pumpkins, American Tondo Pumpkin is a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C.
How to Choose American Tondo Pumpkin
American Tondo is an interesting squash in that it can actually be picked and eaten like a summer squash, while the rind is still tender and green.
But when it’s allowed to mature, it grows into a pretty pumpkin. American Tondo should be firm and heavy for their size, golden yellow in color with mottled green stripes in between the large vertical lobes.
How to Cook American Tondo Pumpkin
American Tondo is great for pureeing and adding to cakes, pies, and pastas. Its dry flesh lends it well to gnocchi, which does best with squash that have lower water content.
To puree it, first wash it well, then lop off the stem end of the pumpkin. From there, cut the pumpkin in half, then scoop out the seeds. Place each half cut-side down on a baking sheet and bake for about an hour, until a fork can pierce the flesh of the pumpkin.
Let cool, then peel the skin away from the flesh. Puree the flesh in a food processor or high-speed blender. I recommend a food processor because if you use a blender, you may need to add a splash of water which negates the dry quality of the flesh.
American Tondo is a somewhat obscure winter squash/pumpkin, and there aren’t many recipes out in the world that I could find yet! I’ll work on some in my own kitchen, but for now, these look pretty darn good.
- Marc Vetri’s Squash Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Crispy Sage – Bluestar
- American Tondo Pumpkin Ravioli from Mister Meatball
- Pumpkin & Pancetta Pasta from Mister Meatball
More To Read
- Don’t miss the Ultimate Guide to Squash & Pumpkins with photos and information about over 65 varieties (so far!) of winter squash and summer squash!
- If you love cooking with pumpkin and squash, check out my reviews of cookbooks that are dedicated to this wonderful ingredient.
Have you tried eating, growing, or displaying this unique yellow pumpkin? Share your experience in the comments below!