Monday, November 14, 2011

I Ate My Way Around the Circleville Pumpkin Show

It seems that every small town in Ohio holds a yearly festival to celebrate something. We have the Milan Melon Festival, the Fish Festival, among others. One of the biggest and most popular festivals is the Circleville Pumpkin Show. The Circleville Pumpkin Festival is one of the largest pumpkin festivals in the country.

These people really love their pumpkin. 

Curious people that we are, as well as lovers of all food pumpkin, Husband and I spent a day at the Circleville Pumpkin Show to see what the hoo ha is about and hopefully full our tummies with pumpkiny treats.

The festival takes up almost every block in tiny downtown Circleville. The big draw is the display of giant pumpkins entered in the pumpkin growing contest that has more categories than I knew there were types of gourds and pumpkins.

Believe it or not, these are the small giant pumpkins!

Just about every other festival booth was a food booth. Surprisingly, there weren’t as many pumpkin flavored goodies as news reports led us to believe. However, with a little determined hunting, we found a few pumpkin flavored gems among the funnel cakes. Hmmmm…funnel cakes…

Sadly, there weren’t any pumpkin spice flavored funnel cakes for sale. Instead, we found pumpkin mini doughnuts. They were the perfect companion to a cup of hot apple cider. Yum!

So little but oh so good

Most of the pumpkin flavored food were desserts including pumpkin fudge, pumpkin roll, pumpkin pie and the occasional pumpkin spice coffee. In the interest of helping a local foodie, we sampled homemade caramels – delish!

Not pumpkin but still good!

We finally found three food vendors that realize that pumpkin is a squash and can be used for cooking as well as baking desserts. Husband gave the pumpkin chili a whirl.

 Pumpkin chili

It was a sweet chili rather than the typical spicy chili he makes. I’m a fan of sweet over spicy hot and called it a win.


I tried the pumpkin hamburger. It was more like a pumpkin sloppy joe when I expected to get something resembling a hamburger patty. I was happy to find that unlike some of the pumpkin fudge and coffee, the pumpkin hamburger (and the chili) was made with pumpkin as well as pumpkin spices.

The pumpkin hamburger is more like a pumpkin sloppy joe

Husband gave the pumpkin pot pie a whirl for dessert.

Pumpkin pot pie

I tried the deep fried pumpkin blossoms. They reminded me of the squash blossoms I add to garden salads with the exception of deep-frying them of course.

Deep fried pumpkin blossoms with ranch dipping sauce

Would we go back? I’m not sure. I guess if we had a child or teen involved in some of the activities we would. I expected a larger amount of pumpkin food and pumpkin-related items and activities besides the giant pumpkin display along the lines of the melon flavored food and everything offered at the Milan Melon Festival. I think next year, we’ll skip the huge crowd and spend time at a pumpkin patch, which might have a better pumpkin related items to crowd ratio.