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(MCT)—Q: Are all pumpkins edible? I have this wonderful pumpkin soup in a pumpkin recipe from Saveur magazine. It calls for a 7-inch Cinderella pumpkin, but if I cannot find that, I want to know if I would be safe with any other pumpkin.

A: “A pumpkin is always, and by definition, round-fruited and edible,” says Amy P. Goldman, author of “The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower’s Guide to Pumpkins, Squashes and Gourds.”

Goldman, a resident of Rhinebeck, N.Y., says a pumpkin doesn’t have to be orange; it can be white, blue or burnt sienna.

“We’ve got blinders on if all we use in cookery are the common field and pie pumpkins,” she writes in an email.

“I would not recommend using a jack-o’-lantern (aka, field pumpkin) in cookery. They’re coarse and fibrous and lack the soluble solids (starch and sugar) that make squashes delicious. Some of the pie pumpkins are fine and sweeter. My favorite pie pumpkin is Winter Luxury Pie.”

You could try a squash.

“Far better to set a table (and bake a pie or make soup) with the starchy, dry, thick, flaky, floury, melting, nutty and fine-textured winter squashes (mature fruits) of Cucurbita maxima and Cucurbita moshata and some of the better Cucurbita pepos,” she writes.

These include Buttercup, Hubbard (golden, blue or green), Delicious, Sibley, any Australian Blues, Kabocha (my personal fave), Musquee de Provence, Canada Crookneck, St. Petersburg and Butternut. “For gnocchi, the best squash is Marina di Chioggia,” she says.

©2011 the Chicago Tribune