It's another story.
Freethinkers Anonymous > Quick Takes. > We Expect A Carriageload After Midnight.
Author: Christopher Waldrop
October 13, 2015
Grocery store flyer:
Bonus: a shipment of the artisanal blue variety just arrived.
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Yummmm…pumpkin bacon, butter and bagels! I guess I’ll have to stop by Starbucks for the pumpkin spice latte.
As much as I’ve heard about those I think I really should try one. There’s a Starbucks just about a block from where I work. That’s not saying much, I guess. The surprising thing is there’s only one.
I actually haven’t tried one either, but yes, they do seem to be all the rage.
I wonder why pumpkin has become so popular, and if it will stick around or is just a passing trend. Even Trader Joe’s has jumped on the bandwagon. Full disclosure: I currently have two TJ pumpkin mixes in my cupboard—one for muffins and the other for bars. But I draw the line there and have passed up the pumpkin ice cream and coffee creamer.
Trader Joe’s most recent Fearless Flyer was the inspiration for this! Every page is a pastiche of pumpkinry.
I’d like to hazard a guess that the reason pumpkin has become so popular is it’s a symbol of the season. A Halloween without pumpkins would be like Christmas without Santa Claus. It’s also a very mild flavored vegetable which makes it easy to sweeten and blend with almost anything. Originally jack-o-lanterns were made from turnips. Who’d want a turnip-spiced latte?
Well, I might try that.
Good old Trader Joes!
But I think it’s only been the last few Falls that there’s been such pumpkin mania. Pumpkins have always been the symbol of the season, but there didn’t used to be so many pumpkin products. And I’ve been shopping at Trader’s for 20+ years, being from California. TJ didn’t used to do this, I swear!
It’s a very recent thing but product diversity has really gone nuts. Everything has to come in twenty-seven varieties now. It takes me twenty minutes to find a can of tomatoes because I just want tomatoes, and not Italian herb, low sodium, gluten-free onion and jalapeno tomatoes.
The one thing we can’t find at the local TJ’s that you can get in California is wine. But things are changing and soon grocery stores will sell wine. I never thought I’d live to see the day.
Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin waffles. I make a mean (gluten free) pumpkin nut muffin. Just had one this morning. Some years ago, there actually was a pumpkin shortage. Oh the horror! And this was right when I started making my muffins. I didn’t care what time of year it was, I wanted my pumpkin muffins! Even though I curse Amazon often, they actually came to my rescue at that time – The grocery stores were completely out of canned pumpkin, but I was able to order the goods from Amazon. Go figure.
The stores didn’t have canned pumpkin because Amazon bought it all up! Actually I think they just have some incredible supply chain–they’re even able to get canned haggis. Pumpkin muffins really do sound yummy, and the amazing thing to me is I can find canned pumpkin pretty much year ’round.
Although I did make a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving, I am not otherwise on the pumpkin-everything bandwagon.
The best pumpkin pie I’ve ever had and the worst pumpkin pie I’ve ever had were the same thing. Pumpkin’s not much of a flavor really and I think it’s the cloves and cinnamon and other spices that get people really excited. Although I did once have a pumpkin custard recipe that called for two pumpkins. One you pureed and mixed with heavy cream and eggs then poured into the hollowed out second pumpkin. I never did try it but it sounds tasty.
Just so you know, when I read the list, I heard the voice of Bubba from the movie Forest Gump. Also, I’m tempted to google the phrase “pumpkin pablum” but I’m afraid to see the results.
You can boil it, you can bake it, you can fry it, you can…I would think pumpkin pablum would be pretty innocuous, but pumpkin has a remarkable ability to alleviate intestinal distress, so it’s frightening what you might turn up.
I’m pretty sick of all this pumpkin stuff everywhere, Chris, but somehow I enjoyed the flavor here.
I’m glad it didn’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.
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