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Salted pumpkin seeds Pumpkin seeds are a popular snack in many countries (including Israel). You can also make oil out of the roasted seeds.

So, it is pumpkin seeds, is it kitniot? Recall Rambam’s definition from Hilchot Kilayim that we discussed in the context of sesame seeds: kitniot are "seeds people eat" in contrast to "vegetables where we eat flesh and seeds" So, what do we eat with pumpkins? Right, both, flesh and seeds. Botanically speaking, the family Cucurbitaceae includes typical vegetables like cucumbers. From the confusion point of view, pumpkin seeds are much bigger than grain and besides pumpkin flour (yes, that exists) there is not much possibility of confusion. Also no pods for the seeds. So, not kitniot despite the "seed" part in the name.

I found people who say it is kitniot, Answers.com: Are pumpkin seeds kosher for Passover? ("they are classified as kitniyot") and even a rabbi, Rabbi Yehoshua Pfeffer: Pumpkin Seeds for Pesach ("Pumpkim seeds are considered kiyniyos (as ruled by Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, and other poskim)." – all spelling errors original, no specific source given).

But most kitniot lists (including my usual lists) do not list pumpkin seeds. But apparently the question pops up now and then, you find several web pages that state it is not kitniot, e.g., the cRc Guide ("Not kitniyot; acceptable if raw and without additives") or the ORB Passover Kashrus Alerts, March 21, 2013 ("Pumpkin seeds are NOT kitniyos" – is there a hint of desperation?).

So I would go with the majority and say not kitniot.

  • Danger of chametz traces: No.
  • Danger of confusion with chametz (raw): No.
  • Danger of confusion with chametz (processed): Oil, no. Flour, maybe.
  • Botanical categorization: Cucurbitaceae.
  • Known in 13th century: No.
  • Verdict: Not kitniot.

photo (c) Max Ronnersjö

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