Acorn squash and pumpkin are in the same family of winter squash. Acorn squash is comparable to sweet pumpkin, which is what is usually found in cans and used for baking, etc. I think the reason for the bait-and-switch is there is not a major difference in the two but for some reason the product is recognized as “canned pumpkin” and so “canned acorn squash” wouldn’t sell as well, even though it’s pretty much the same thing and most recipes call for either/or. Acorn squash is grown on a larger scale than pumpkins for eating, too.
From my experience, they taste very similar so I’m sure the average consumer wouldn’t no the difference. They can be used interchangeably in recipes and have basically the same nutritional value. The biggest reason they might be switched would probably have to do with the fact that acorn squash can be grown in the winter, almost year round. Pumpkins, on the other hand, take longer to grow and only really flourish in the late summer and fall months.
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