Native American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed. When white settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians. Pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets, too. They also brought seeds back to Europe, where they quickly became popular. Just like today, early settlers used pumpkins in a wide variety of recipes, from desserts to stews and soups. In addition to cooking with pumpkins, they also dried the shells and cut strips to weave into mats.
Early settlers made pumpkin pie by filling a hollowed out shell with milk, honey and spices, then baking it.Whether they learned this from Native Americans is not known.