Pumpkin soup. Pumpkin seed pesto. Pumpkin risotto. Pumpkin quiche. Pumpkin Spӓtzle. Pumpkin Flammkuchen. Pumpkin seed-covered Bratwurst. Pumpkin Prosecco…
At the Ludwigsburg Pumpkin Festival, imaginations have gone crazy with pumpkins and everything edible and artistic. Pumpkins of every size, shape, and color are creatively arranged all around the Blühendes Barock gardens of the Ludwigsburg Residenzschloss palace.
For lunch we went for the pumpkin burger – a tasty grilled vegetable patty similar to falafel – and carbonated pumpkin juice. There’s a reason you’ve never heard of the juice before, but it did taste like pure pumpkin mixed with sweeter pear and apple juices. Pumpkin doesn’t have too much taste alone. And, of course, we snacked on a paper cone of roasted cinnamon-and-sugar-coated pumpkin seeds (other seasoning choices were sugar and chili or seasalt).
This year, the artistic theme of the fest was the circus. A larger-than-life pumpkin knife thrower takes aim at a pumpkin assistant on a pumpkin target; a pumpkin elephant balances a pumpkin ball on its pumpkin trunk; a pumpkin tiger jumps through a pumpkin hoop; a pumpkin tightrope walker balances over a sea of pumpkins; a pumpkin rabbit peeks out of a pumpkin hat; pumpkin clowns entertain children of all ages; and on and on and on…
A pumpkin carving event also took place when we went last Sunday, with artists carving elaborate faces into giant pumpkins. The weather was beautiful – warm and sunny – and the fest was full of families and friends picnicking on hay bales and pumpkin-strewn lawns. A hay barn (for throwing and jumping around in) and the year-round fairy tale park on the grounds are a kid’s dream come true.
Buying a couple of small decorative pumpkins, pumpkin cake mix and pumpkin chutney before leaving still wasn’t enough for me though. Hey, fall’s come late here and the seasonal menus are only just starting to include pumpkin specialties. So after we returned home, I ordered my favorite pumpkin soup (this one is a little spicy with sesame seeds on top) at Mosch Mosch, a popular Asian-fusion chain here.
Halloween may not be a big deal here, but cooking and decorating with pumpkins in the fall is definitely no small thing.