As a person with both sweet tooth and a salty tooth, there is a wide variety of snacks that appeal to me. Of course, many of them are empty calorie ones that taste great but don’t give my body very good nutrients. That’s why tamari-roasted pepitas have become one of my favorites. Last year as I increased my calorie burn through active bicycle riding, pepitas have been a tasty and welcome snack for energy replenishment.
Pepitas are shelled pumpkin seeds. Some consider them a seasonal snack following the pumpkin carving of late fall. However, pepitas have a strong ethnic year ’round appeal also. The word itself is from Mexican Spanish. Lightly roasted, salted and unhulled pumpkin seeds are popular in Greece, too. The leading commercial producers of pumpkins include the U.S., Mexico, India and China.
They were a celebrated food of the Native American Indians who treasured them both for their dietary and medicinal properties. The cultivation of pumpkins spread throughout the world when the European explorers brought back many of the agricultural treasures of the New World.
In my experience pumpkin seeds come roasted and/or salted and remain in their hulls. The pepitas I have found are always already shelled.