The air is crisp, the leaves are in their colorful glory, football season is here, and pumpkin spice everything is available. When did pumpkin spice, as tasty as it is, become so synonymous and pervasive with the fall season?
It started simple enough. In 2003, Starbucks introduced the new latte flavor – pumpkin spice, and it went to our heads. Each fall, more and more pumpkin spice flavored stuff showed up. And, why? Because we keep buying it! And, let’s face it; some of these items are completely unexpected – bizarre, in fact. Think about it?
When in your wildest imagination did you think you’d buy pumpkin spice cookie treats for your dog? Don’t they smell so good that it makes you wonder what they taste like? They taste like pumpkin and let’s just leave it there, ok? No unnecessary taste tasting just to prove a point. Even cats, as finicky eaters as they are, have their own lines of pumpkin flavored goodies.
Craving your pumpkin spice coffee fix? You can find it anywhere now. Buy it from your favorite coffee shop, buy a bag at the grocery, order it online – isn’t anyone drinking coffee that tastes like coffee? Starbucks may have started this train, but who looked at coffee beans and thought, “I bet those would taste good as pumpkin.” Why not just have coffee and a slice of pumpkin pie? Doesn’t that equate to about the same thing? And with coffee blazing the trail, teabags aren’t far behind. Yep, we have pumpkin spice tea as well.
Let’s review some of the foods that we enjoy as pumpkin spiced. Start off your day with your pumpkin spice coffee or tea. Select from cereal, donuts, pancakes, muffins or any other baked goodies – all pumpkin flavored. That should set you up for a busy day. How about a pumpkin spice yogurt or cottage cheese for lunch with perhaps some similarly flavored almonds as a late afternoon snack? Or, go completely native and have a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds – you rebel you! For dinner, have a plate of pumpkin flavored pasta. What sauce goes on that is beyond imagination. Top your evening off with an after-dinner drink of – you guessed it – something with pumpkin flavoring.
Amazing, isn’t it? How something we used to only see as an obligatory pie served at Thanksgiving has taken over a whole segment of the year and ended up in every sort of food and drink imaginable. Whoever started this should be a multi-millionaire many times over by now!
Do we have any limits on this pumpkin spice craze? Are you willing to try salsa, hummus, sausage, salmon, water, hand sanitizer, air fresheners, body lotion, shampoo, and pipe tobacco in a pumpkin spice flavor? And, who thought that fish bait should be in that flavor? What fish ever developed a taste for pumpkin? These are not made-up options, folks – they’re real products.
Enjoy the start of the fall season – pumpkin-spiced or not! Have a real cup of coffee and a slice of pecan pie for a change!