It all started with Pumpkin Spiced Latte. And then there were pumpkin flavored donuts followed by pumpkin creamer and pumpkin cake. And once the pumpkin craze set in, we had pumpkin beer, pumpkin soup, pumpkin spiced tea, pumpkin smoothies, pumpkin cream cake, and oh yes, don’t forget the pumpkin pie!
The smell of pumpkin makes us dream of Fall and Halloween. We start to think of fires in the fireplace and the sound of leaves crunching under our feet. Meanwhile it’s actually still Summer and 95 degrees. But the talk of pumpkin has triggered people into pushing forward and dreaming of our next season soon to come.
What is behind our Pumpkin Craze?
McCormick, the company that developed Pumpkin Pie Spice, which is a blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice in 1934 as a shortcut for flavoring the traditional harvest dessert, is credited with actually coming up with the pumpkin spice flavor.
But Starbucks is the company who came up with the Pumpkin spice Latte that literally took the world by storm with the infused pumpkin spice in the coffee flavor and whipped cream. This set the coffee scene on its side and started people craving the taste of pumpkin in, well, in…everything.
Before long, the Pumpkin Spice Latte will be featured on the menu once again at your local Starbucks. And it will seem the world has gone mad for pumpkin once again. But why? It could be in part because the Pumpkin Spice Latte is as seasonal and as limited as Fall, itself. We are only able to enjoy and savor this taste from late August until about Thanksgiving.
About the time of Thanksgiving, is when we shift out of Fall and into Winter. And during the time when breezes blow from cool to colder is when the pumpkin products begin to disappear again for another year, leaving our craves for pumpkin high and dry.
Pumpkins Make us Feel Cozy
Pumpkins are symbolic in American culture. They’re the oldest domesticated plant in the new world and helped sustain colonists when the crops they brought from Europe failed. Later, when people moved into cities, pumpkins remained associated with that agrarian way of life in a nostalgic manner. It’s the same today, when we purchase decorative gourds to give our front porches and dining room tables a rustic makeover for fall.
Fall festivals and Halloween treats are all associated with our love of pumpkin and it really doesn’t matter if you live in a seasonal climate or not. Even those who live in southern California get into the act and love the idea of the Fall decorating and pumpkins everywhere. And yes, our pioneer pumpkin love has even made its way across the pond to England mostly because in London there is a Starbucks on every corner and they too, love their Pumpkin Spice Latte and all things pumpkin.
When we see a pumpkin, we think of soft blankets and fresh fall days. Pumpkins trigger several of our senses and it seems as though we are almost hardwired to be attracted to all things pumpkin in our food. And to think It started with pumpkin spiced latte and has grown into all things pumpkins including pumpkin pancakes and waffles!