Too lazy — er, busy — to carve your own jack-o'-lantern this year? No worries — Cinagro Farms in Filmore, CA has you covered: Owner Tony Dighera has figured out a way to make his pumpkins grow into the shape of Frankenstein’s monster. And yes, they’re as mind-blowing as you think they are. I mean, just look at those things. How impressive are they? I don’t know about you, but I’d love having one of those suckers on my front stoop. Too bad I don’t live in Southern California.
According to The New York Times, Dighera grows his pumpkin creatures in a plastic mold. Growing them in the mold forces the pumpkins to take the form of the shape of the thing — in this case, the face of Frankenstein’s monster (I imagine it works kind of like a long-term version of those hard-boiled egg molds you can get if you’re into bento boxes). The end result bears the closest resemblance to the Universal Pictures version of Mary Shelley's creature played by the late, great Boris Karloff.
Dighera calls them “pumpkinsteins”; my brain, however, insists on referring to them as “Frankenpumpkins,” so take your pick. In all fairness, it’s possible that neither term is really better than the other — after all, a pumpkinstein could look like this:
While a Frankenpumpkin could look like this:
But hey. Po-tay-toes, po-tah-toes.
In any event, Dighera first started toying around with his pumpkinsteins in 2010. It took a lot of trial and error to get it right; size, as it turns out, is everything. Speaking to CBS Los Angeles, he said, “If it’s too large, you’re condensing it. You’re forcing it to be too small and it won’t ripen correctly.” He continued, “Obviously, if it’s too small, it won’t fit in the mold.” Unsurprisingly, he’s already sold his entire first crop — about 5,500 pumpkins — to retailers in Southern California like Whole Foods and Gelson’s; next year, he’s aiming to grow between 30,000 and 40,000 of them. A lofty goal, perhaps, but given how popular they are, I’m pretty sure he’ll be able to move the whole lot. Business is booming!
Spectacularly shaped pumpkins aren't the only unusual pieces of produce Cinagro Farms grows, by the way; inspired by the square watermelons popular in Japan, Dighera has also perfected a heart-shaped watermelon perfect for Valentine’s Day. Here’s what they look like:
I’m sure they don’t taste any different from regular watermelons, but damn. Is that cool or what?