Thursday, October 17, 2013

Crushed by Pumpkins

It is fall, my minions!  I'm sure you've noticed this already, provided you live in the Northern Hemisphere and in an area where the seasons actually change.  I know, I know, the first day of fall was close to a month ago, but I've been busy.  There are various different signs that autumn has arrived which appeal to us more or less depending on our area and interest.  School starts, football is rampant, the leaves are changing, stores are preempting all over holidays by putting out their Christmas displays, that sort of thing.  And, of course, from coffee shops to candle stores, we have pumpkin EVERYTHING.

I'll admit, I like pumpkin.  A lot.  Not just in pie.  I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies, my friend Eve's pumpkin soup (which is not sweet at all and very tasty), and I'm a pretty big fan of pumpkin candles.  Also, I confess that autumn does not truly begin for me until I have my hands on a non-fat, no water, Pumpkin Spice Chai (3/1 on the Chai to Pumpkin Spice ratio, with sprinkles, but no whip) from Starbucks.

Special thanks to the Downtown Edmonds Starbucks.
I love you guys.

That said, I think we may be over doing it just a bit.  And the number of pumpkin-y products seems to be growing with every year.  In fact, just last week USA Today was remarking on the rise of pumpkin-related sales, noting that breakfast foods have been seeing a big increase.  To demonstrate my point, I'm going to subject you to my personal pumpkin run-down.  As of today, I have had:
  • Starbucks Pumpkin Spice syrup - Obviously I'm a fan, but it's easy to use too much of it.
  • Pumpkin Spice M&M's - A vile mistake if ever there was one.
  • Pumpkin Cereal Bars - These were a nice idea, but they don't really taste like pumpkin.
  • Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins - Quite tasty.  Go have one.
  • Pumpkin Scones - Also delicious.
  • Pumpkin Cookies - Best if moist, and if not moist you made them wrong because there's PUMPKIN IN IT for pity's sake.
  • Instant Pumpkin Spice Chai - This was disappointing, I am sad to admit.  While it tasted all right, the smell was off putting.  Too much anise, maybe?
  • Pumpkin Spice Truffles - I see chocolate and pumpkin in the same light I see chocolate and bacon.  Both are delicious, but if you combine them their powers of deliciousness cancel each other out.  I had both dark and milk chocolate truffles, and while I felt the milk chocolate better balanced the heavy, rich intensity of the filling, I'm not going to buy them ever again.
  • Pumpkin Pie Bagel - Oddly heavy and dry for something that should contain a moist, pulpy squash.
  • Pumpkin Yogurt - This failed on so, so many levels.
And that's where we're at just as of mid-October.  Pumpkin-product season isn't over until at least mid-December, and even then it will linger through the winter holidays.  I am sure I will eat and encounter many more pumpkin-y things.  I'm sure I will regret about a quarter of them.  And then, at the end of the winter holiday season, when I cannot bear the thought of having one more thing with pumpkin in it, they'll take all the products away until we're all just rabid to have them back.  At about mid-September.  Like they do every year.