Last week I wrote about apples, one of two fall food mainstays, with a brief mention of the other, pumpkins. The weather turning cooler brings the buzz and excitement around all things pumpkin with pumpkin and pumpkin spice taking center stage in so many recipes and food products. Pumpkin bread and muffins, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course the quintessential pumpkin pie are common treats this time of year. But, what about pumpkin pie soda, pumpkin spice peanut butter, pumpkin wine, pumpkin spice latte deodorant, dish soap, and yes, puppy pumpkin flavor teething ring and dog food with pumpkin? Has it gone too far? I began to see pumpkin and pumpkin spice products on the shelves in late August. Too soon for me. Yet, whether it be on a restaurant’s menu or a store shelf, pumpkin and pumpkin spice seems to be the ingredient and scent of autumn.
Like curry, pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices; cloves, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace and allspice. Wonderful on their own, these spices mixed perfectly in the right proportion create a symphony of flavor and aroma; comforting and evoking the holiday season spirit. Pumpkin, with its mellow flavor is a blank canvas for so many recipes.