Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Eat Some Real Pumpkin And Get Back to Me

I was at the grocery today and saw this and realized it's time for another rant on "pumpkin" flavored everything.

If you're too lazy to read any further, here's my point:  if you're looking for pumpkin flavor, what you are probably really looking for is pumpkin PIE flavor.  And what you really want is probably cinnamon, nutmeg and maybe cloves.

And, before you leave, if you look at most of the things that are "pumpkin flavored" it says right on it that it's artificial flavor.

So, for those who are too busy to keep reading, think about what you're actually drinking or eating the next time that you buy a pumpkin flavored item.  Take a look at the ingredients.  Think about whether or not that's really something you want to consume or give your growing children.  Toodaloo.

For the rest of you who want to see where this goes, let's get moving.

Have you ever actually had a piece of pumpkin?  Not from a can, I mean from an actual pumpkin.  As in, you took a pumpkin, baked or roasted it, peeled off the skin and then ate it?

Probably not.  Because really, pumpkin itself isn't at all what pumpkin pie tastes like.  Remember, pumpkin is a squash.  Like acorn squash, butternut/winter squash, etc.

And generally, we do not crave a snack and think "ah yes, a nice, plain piece of squash would really hit the spot right now".

I'd love for you pumpkin lovers to try that.  Are you still there?  Eat a piece of cooked pumpkin.  Put a piece in your unflavored coffee, even, and tell me about how much you still LOVE pumpkin flavored stuff.

I would bet your face would tell us all what a grave disappointment you've just experienced.

Pumpkin can be really tasty when you add a little butter or sugar and the proper spices to make it a side dish for supper.  Roast it, bake it, broil it (boil it if you have to but I've stopped boiling vegetables because they lose so much flavor).  It will still be squash like, and maybe a little sweet, depending on what you add in, but it's not something you usually would think would flavor up your latte in the morning and make you think of fall. 

If you're eating it with the  main meal, you aren't expecting it to be super sweet and spiced up.

Now, pumpkin pie?  That's an entirely different story.  Pumpkin pie is make with sugar and spices, sometimes with sweetened, condensed milk, depending on your recipe.  And it's sweet and really good.

And when you want a snack, pumpkin pie probably would hit the spot.

It makes me really sad that mass marketing has so brainwashed people into thinking that a) pumpkin flavor means fall and b) what you're eating and drinking is really pumpkin flavor.

If they admit that it's artificially flavored, then you're not even experiencing the flavors that make a real pumpkin pie!  It just more fakety fake fake stuff that you're putting into your body and missing out on the real stuff.

I mentioned canned pumpkin earlier and probably made it sound like that was also a bad choice.  Since it's rare to find fresh pumpkin in stores, I have no issue with canned pumpkin for pies or breads, but just beware that when you open the can, unless it says "pie ready" or something like that, it has no flavor added in.  It's just boiled pumpkin pureed and canned.   No sugar, no spices.

My family had first hand experience with the plain canned pumpkin in a pie twice when my grandmother completely forgot to put in the spices.  It was such a let down to get ready for a nice piece of pie, wonder why it wasn't really smelling as awesome as it should, and then everyone started doing that slow chew, fork in mid air, what is wrong with this pie dance.

Twice, I tell you.

To finish my little rant, I have to point out that today is August 17th.  AUGUST.  Is August part of fall?

No, I just checked.   August falls distinctly in summer, no matter where you look up seasons in the US.  Yes, in the southern hemisphere it's a different story, I know.  But even you are not looking at fall when you are in August.  You're looking toward spring!

So, why am I seeing this display in AUGUST?  Why are people jumping up and down with glee on social media because various coffee shops are already selling their spiced pumpkin lattes and pumpkin coffees?

We haven't even started school yet in my neck of the woods, and as I type it's 85 degrees and I'm DYING.

I assure you, this is not fall.

So, let's recap.  All of you who run around saying you love pumpkin?  You're going to open a can of canned pumpkin, not pie ready, and try some in your coffee tomorrow.  You're going to report back to us and tell us how wise I am.

Or even better you're going to find out that you end up liking actual pumpkin (even from a can) and you can't even imagine what that crap is they have been selling you and you'll start a new trend of adding canned pumpkin to everything and call it "pumpkin" flavored whatever.

But you'll be telling the truth.  And then it will spread and all of the pumpkin farmers will see a boom in demand and there will be pumpkins growing everywhere.

I just ask you to PLEASE wait until the end of September, when fall really starts.

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