It seems to be that time of year when everything is flavored in pumpkin. Actually, it has been that time of year for a while already. A good two months, in fact: Starbucks announced the early release of its Pumpkin Spice Latte on August 28, 2014. And clearly the “PSL” (yes, it now has an abbreviation… when did that happen?) is the bellwether of the pumpkin season. (The Starbucks marketing machine takes it to the next level and claims that “Our customers tell us that their first sip of Pumpkin Spice Latte signals the onset of the fall season.” There are so many things wrong with that statement, I don’t know where to start.)
But it doesn’t stop at Starbucks. Even the more proletarian Dunkin’ Donuts offers pumpkin-flavored brew, under the “PumpkinAtDunkin” banner. And I also found orange K-cups popping up in my office kitchen. Guess what was inside…
All these pumpkin-y drinks are of course accompanied by pumpkin-y sweets, ranging from pumpkin bread, to pumpkin muffins, to pumpkin scones, to pumpkin cookies, to pumpkin cheesecake, to pumpkin to pumpkin to pumpkin to pumpkin. Oh yes, and how could I forget, the pumpkin donut. It becomes impossible to remember a time when you ordered anything other than the Pumpkin Spice Cake Donut at Krispy Kreme. And it is difficult to imagine a future post-Halloween. What will breakfast be without pumpkin?!
And it was only recently that I realized, after attending a beer tasting at a friend’s place, that pumpkin BEER is also a thing. Clearly, there is no end to the pumpkin power. The other weekend I even attended a pumpkin FESTIVAL. Our initial intention was simply to go pumpkin picking, because we wanted to carve the pumpkins into jack o’ lanterns and roast the pumpkin seeds (one of my favorite fall childhood memories). Instead, we ended up at this massive fall fair packed with hundreds (no, it must have been thousands) of suburbanites engaging in fun fall family activities and general pumpkin mania.
America is, quite simply put, obsessed with pumpkins.