Pumpkins are large, round winter squashes with orange skins and flesh. The variety known as the sugar pumpkin has sweet flesh. It is commonly used in baking but is also used in savory dishes. Canned pumpkin puree is widely available and can easily be made from fresh pumpkin.
To prepare pumpkins for cooking:
Cut in half with a heavy knife. Tap the inserted knife with a kitchen mallet if the skin is very hard. Using a sharp-edged spoon, scrape out the seeds and fibers. Remove the skin with a vegetable peeler or paring knife.
For other winter squash, see banana squash, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash.