Oh, October. No other month is quite better than you, are they? First of all, you host one of my favorite holidays*. Your air is crisp and invigorating. And the foliage? Do not even get me started on the foliage. Look at yourself, you practically epitomize the Autumn season. I could go on and on about your 31 days of blissful existence, but I only have the time to focus on my favorite of your offerings: limited edition pumpkin-flavored novelties.
There is no arguing that the Pumpkin dominates the month of October. Although it is usually revered for its decorative (and sometimes spooky! – ed.) purposes, let us take the time to celebrate the Pumpkin for its culinary delights. On the outside, the Pumpkin may seem like quite the goofy gourd, but within those orange walls lurks one of the most distinctive and scrumptious flavors in modern cooking today.
There is, of course, the “normal duprez”: pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin soup, etc…These foods, while delicious, are not blog-worthy by any means. So, without further ado, let’s begin the Pumpkin Pandemonium
Pumpkin Beer. I feel kind of lame beginning with this, but you’d be surprised how many breweries are producing this seasonal ale. I’ve had three varieties already. The first one I had in
Pumpkin Cream Cheese. The “cream” of the crop (or patch? – ed.) goes to the Einstein Brother’s pumpkin flavored cream cheese. When it comes to bagels, I’m usually not into sweet spreads like “strawberry” or “blueberry”, but these brothers know their shit. First of all, the cream cheese is whipped, which always helps with the application process. It is light brown in color and the smell of it melting upon a freshly toasted bagel is guaranteed to initiate salivation. Its taste is comparable to pumpkin pie filling, but the eating experience is OUT OF THIS WORLD. I honestly wish I could start every morning with a shmear of pumpkin on my bagel, but alas, this is a limited edition, so stock up for the rest of the year!
Pumpkin Milk Shake. As unlikely as it is, Jack in the Box brings this delicious desert to the table. I would not usually recommend that anyone go to a Jack in the Box (for various reasons), but this is something that even the pumpkin-curious should try. It is think and rich in essence of pumpkin, although, it apparently contains 830 calories. However, if you think about it, an actual pumpkin has over 1000***, so it’s healthier (and tastier!) to enjoy it in milk-shake form.
Pumpkin Donut. Most top-of-the-line organizations (Krispy Kreme, Dunkin Donuts, etc) are producing this treat. Mine came courtesy of Tim Horton’s, the Starbucks of Canada. I have to admit, compared to the other pumpkin curiosities of this season, it left much to be desired. Not to say it was a bad donut, I just wish Mr. Horton could have put more thought (and pumpkin) into it before rushing it out onto the shelves.
Pumpkin Coffee. I am no regular customer of Starbucks, but when they blatantly advertise their seasonal pumpkin awareness, I will throw up my hands and give in. Starbucks offers a nice looking pumpkin muffin, and two seductive pumpkin beverages to wash it down with. I could choose from either their “Pumpkin Spice Frapaccino” or their “Pumpkin Spice Latte”. Not having the money (or stomach capacity) to try both, I went for an iced pumpkin spice latte. The drink was presented with whipped cream and topped off with cinnamon sprinkles, and, as you might imagine, was a delight to my tastebuds. However, like Tim Horton’s botched donut and Blue Moon’s mild ale, I felt like I was being gypped out of my pumpkin “spice”. Pumpkin themed foods should be as fat, bright and flamboyant as the fruit itself. As I left the Starbucks, I proceeded to walk past the other stores’ Halloween displays, brimming full of orange pumpkins with mischievous faces. I took a sip of my pumpkin latte, trying to capture that spirit of pumpkinness, only to end up with a hollow feeling inside.
I hope other pumpkin-enthusiasts find this guide helpful, and if anyone knows of any other pumpkin innovations, by all means, let me know.- Dr. Pumpkin****
* October 6th - Bipolar Awareness Day
** I do wish someone would make this into beer.
*** Do the math
**** Thomas Hughes