By: Alex Pierce
My dearest friends,
Tis’ the season folks! The crisp fall air, the crunch of the drying leaves. Daylight is waning and guess what? We REJOICE! Because it’s pumpkin season.
It is me, your favorite fall beverage back at last. I am the pumpkin spice latte, also known as the PSL. I have several siblings in the form of gingerbread lattes, peppermint hot chocolates, and hot apple ciders, but honestly, I am the golden child. Well, I am more of an orange hue but no need for the irrelevant details. Just when the Summer days are coming to an end, I know just how to lift those spirits! I’m smooth and seductive. I’m unique but all too familiar. In fact, I bring such seasonal enjoyment, I am mimicked across the country, the world even! And these imitations are of the sincerest form of flattery. I am so excited about helping to squash those long-gone summer blues and “pump” you up for the autumn season. I am here to tell you the level excitement for this season’s pumpkin crop is through the proverbial roof.
My team has grown exponentially and needs some organizing, especially for us foodies. We gotta’ keep tabs. And so you will not forget, I will pictorially nauseate you with all of your options –first permeating the breakfast category.
Picture this: A golden brown toasted bagel and English muffin with a smear of pumpkin spice cream cheese. As you wolf down the first bite, hardly chewing due to the impeccable essence of Autumn you perceive, you reach for a steamy cup o’ Joe infused with the crux of pumpkin spice season. It’s a pumpkin invasion of all your senses, they’ve managed to sneak pumpkin in everywhere.
I know. Overwhelming. The pumpkin-goodness (well flavor anyway), is everywhere! For those less convinced of the pumpkin spice explosion of awesome that will surely awaken your soul, you can warm up and slowly ease into the season with a pumpkin chip here and there. Chips manage to capture the minor hints of pumpkin that are needed to rope you into Autumn’s forgiving briskness. Of course if you prefer the baked pumpkin goods,there are plenty of options, just open your eyes in the bakery department of your local store.
But wait! There’s more! When you are ready to embrace the full monty that is pumpkin. Lunch and dinner have inspired pumpkin associations too! The exciting part of these dishes is that they do double duty and easily translate to dinner. The only difference being, well, maybe they actually contain pumpkin, and not just the flavor. Pumpkin makes the perfect partner in soups and stews, pasta and paninis. It’s a hearty healthy addition.
Pumpkin flavoring contains ‘character impact compounds’ that allow our brains to fill in the blanks that true pumpkin elicits with 340 compounds. Dr. Kantha Shelke ( PhD, CFS, IFT Spokesperson) has helped explain this artificial flavoring and how it helps make so many amazing products!
“With character impact compounds such as “cinnamic aldehydes for cinnamon, eugenol for clove or allspice, terpenes such as sabinene for nutmeg, and zingiberene for ginger. They may also contain vanillin and cyclotene for the burnt butter or maple notes to round off the flavor.”
She goes on to explain that each of these compounds have been studied extensively and are safe for us pumpkin-oisseurs to consume. To see Dr. Shelke speak about this flavor, follow this link here: Pumpkin Spice 101 That being said, just because it is artificially flavored does not mean the pumpkiness is any less representative of inherent pumpkin flavor! Thank you flavorists!
This is definitely something to savor, because the season will be over before we know it with an eminent gingerbread and peppermint invasion. Additionally, I assure you I am only breaching the surface. WOW. Your day can now officially be pumpkin packed!