Super-sized pumpkins launch in Berkhamsted

PUBLISHED: 13:23 12 October 2010 | UPDATED: 17:57 20 February 2013

The sumo pumpkin will delight children

The sumo pumpkin will delight children

Flex your muscles, these pumpkins are going to take some lifting!

Just in time for Hallowe'en, Waitrose is launching the mighty Sumo pumpkin, up to five times the size of their regular pumpkin and Berkhamsted Waitrose has been chosen as just one of the 24 stores nationwide that is stocking them as part of a trial.

Weighing in at a mammoth 40kg, the Sumo will be the largest vegetable available in a UK supermarket taking two people to lift one. Help will be on hand for customers purchasing the sumo as Waitrose Pumpkin Porters will carry the sumo from the shelf to checkout and finally to the car boot.

Following in the footsteps of the US, Hallowe'en is becoming an increasingly popular occasion with Brits, with more people carving pumpkins for their windowsill. Waitrose has tapped into the American trend of outdoing your neighbours by launching a super-sized pumpkin for the ultimate carved creation. Waitrose Sumos are grown in Sussex and contain up to 30kg of flesh. Each one has enough flesh for 120 bowls of pumpkin soup or 360 slices of pie.

The retailer will also be stocking a Hallo-weenie pumpkin for the first time. The Munchkin starts at around 100g in weight and is 400 times lighter than a Sumo. An easier size for children to help stencil, this mini-me squash variety is also delicious baked in the oven and served simply with butter.

Waitrose Vegetable Buyer, Kate Prall said, Sumos will certainly raise a few eyebrows down our vegetable aisles. It's the first time we have sold such a super-sized product which is the width of our trollies. This is our largest ever range of pumpkins and our Sumo will feed a houseful of guests at your Hallowe'en party.

Waitrose Sumos are grown in Sussex by Nathan Dellicott who has being growing pumpkins for the supermarket for 18 years. The seeds were sown in May meaning the plants were well established to take advantage of the warm start to the summer. Then August rainfall helped boost some last minute growth. Excellent growing conditions mean the Sumos are even bigger than expected.

Waitrose Munchkins launched on October 7 in all Waitrose branches, costing just 99p, and Sumos launch today, trialling at 24 selected Waitrose stores, priced at 25 each.

Pumpkin Ice Cream

Arecipe by Neil Nugent, Waitrose Executive Chef.

300g chopped pumpkin
50g butter
150ml water
150ml sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
50ml whipping cream
Zest and juice of 1 orange

1. Gently sweat the pumpkin with the butter for 20mins, then puree.

2. Boil together the water, sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick until the sugar has dissolved to make a stock syrup, then leave to cool.

3. Blend together the puree, stock syrup and cream. Add the orange zest and juice then churn in an ice-cream maker until frozen. Delicious served with sticky toffee pudding.

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