Now that it is October, I’m ready to address the apparent plot for pumpkin flavor to dominate American palates from August through December. I mean, seriously, to how many products will fake pumpkin flavor be added? Click here to see a fairly comprehensive list of products available currently. Prepare to be impressed – or repulsed.
How do you feel about this? Are you a pumpkin aficionado? Is your autumnal existence incomplete without the infusion of the great orange gourd? Or maybe, like me, you enjoy a taste of something seasonal but don’t really understand the need for “whipped peanut and pumpkin pie spice flavored spread” or “pumpkin spice fettucine?” How did this happen?
According to an article I read, it seems we have Starbucks to thank for the current obsession with pumpkin everything. Their pumpkin spiced latte hit the market about 10 years ago and there’s been no stopping the demand for more room in the garden for pumpkins. Prior to 15 years ago the state of Virginia had no pumpkin farms. Today, more than 4,000 acres are devoted to pumpkin patches. Geez, that’s a lot of ground for poor Linus Van Pelt to cover!
For the record, I enjoy an occasional pumpkin spiced latte on a crisp fall day. I love to add a half a cup or so of canned pumpkin, along with nutmeg and cinnamon, to my waffle batter this time of year. Pumpkin pie? Yes, please! I am absolutely down with that. Recently, though, when a guest at the Wine Bar (who was visiting from Hong Kong) questioned me about the pumpkin flavored beer we were offering on draft, I really didn’t know what to say. “Um, uh, during ‘autumn’ we Americans like to flavor as many edibles as possible with the flavor of pumpkin?” Yeah, that. Sigh. Good grief.