What's The Craze With Pumpkin Foods and Beverages?
With the fall solstice being just around the corner, that can only mean one thing, Pumpkin Spiced Season is back! From muffins to breads to even coffee, pumpkin is in the air.
The fall season brings out the best qualities of this orange vegetable. Everywhere you turn you find pumpkin related objects, either a specialty on a menu or an actual pumpkin staring at you.
Why pumpkin? What makes people crave this delicious treat all year around? Is it the color, the smell, the taste? What’s the hidden secret imbedded behind the word ‘pumpkin’? There has to be more than just scary Halloween lanterns that make us want the orange ball more and more. We wait all year for the pumpkin spiced everything, there must be a special reason to go crazy about it.
Just like people become ecstatic when it is finally iced coffee season, people fall into a trance when the pumpkin season begins. Some would say people love it even more than they do iced coffees, but that of course is only a guess. When put to a test pumpkin coffee would definitely be at the top of the list in terms of the amount of cravings that people have for it, regardless of the weather.
Pumpkin-spice is not something that was invented by hipsters to add some flavor to their drinks. In fact, it was invented over 3,500 years ago in Indonesia. Archeologists have found remnants of the spice on pottery objects that date back to that many centuries ago. Thanks to the Indonesians, who saw a purpose for nutmeg and pumpkin spice thousands of years ago in both foods and medicines, the pumpkin spice world has evolved into the vast culture that we know of today. Each year the United States sells out about half-a-billion dollars in just pumpkin flavored products; imagine the effect that it has done for the rest of the world.
Who created the pumpkin spice coffee?
Now that pumpkin spice coffee can be found in just about any home and pantry, how was the beloved drink created? Where did it come from? In fact, pumpkin spice coffee was created in the early 2000's by a male basketball player named Peter Dukes. Dukes brought the beverage to the mind of local market pushers. He fought long and hard for the drink to even make it onto a menu, as the supervisors did not think the beverage would go far.
Why is pumpkin spice the main flavor of fall?
Each year, the amount of pumpkin spiced products grows from what it was the previous year. It seems as if the pumpkin gods give us more pumpkin spiced themed gifts each year. With so many different products going around it is hard to lose track of the main reason why pumpkin spice was created. At times it seems as if the pumpkin craze has gotten a little out of hand. Products such as pumpkin martini or hummus might have steered people in the wrong direction of the true flavor of pumpkin spice. Thankfully there are more good variations of the spice than there are bad ones.
Since the pumpkin spice products usually follow the words ‘limited time offer’ it causes people to crave the spice even more. Because of the short timeframe these products can be bought at, it caused marketers to want more and more of it, as if they cannot get enough, making it a must for purchases to be swarming with pumpkin spice products. As the weather cools down, people all over want to warm up with the brisk taste of a pumpkin spiced beverage, especially if that particular product will only be available for a certain amount of time.
When the fall season rolls out your supermarket shelves become filled with everything pumpkin spice related. It’s as if you went to sleep and woke up in pumpkin spice land. The list of pumpkin themed possibilities is never ending; you’ve got your breads, muffins, pasta, pies, candy, and of course coffee - all spiced to the flavor of the glowing gourd.
Pumpkins are best known for their Halloween decorations. Those scary lanterns make us cringe every time we pass by that one neighbor’s house (you know, that one who practically builds a haunted mansion). How did pumpkin carving come about? When the Irish, Scottish, and English people came to the United States, the pumpkin was seen as a perfect vegetable for their Jack O’Lantern carving needs. Originally carved on large turnips or beets, the tradition behind the carving serves to ward off ‘Jack’ in his stray travels as he looks for a home to reside in.
Once your pumpkin is carved to its scariest looking face, what are you supposed to do with the part that was scooped out? You might as well make use of that stuffing and put it to good use! That’s where pumkin foods and pumpkin coffee come in! It shouldn’t just be left to hold your candle, use it to add some flavor into delicious foods and beverages as well.
What is the pumpkin flavor?
Although it is a vegetable, the pumpkin has different flavors that consist of everyday-like-products that are found in most people’s homes. Those other flavors that are associated with pumpkin spice include cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger.
With pumpkin spice being an important limited time feature of fall, we have to get in our pumpkin spice fix in as much as possible. Don’t limit yourself with only the pumpkin coffee, incorporate the spice into other foods as well. Here are a couple of other items that you can make using your favorite once a year flavor:
- Pumpkin Spice Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Spice Pancakes
- Pumpkin Spice Cake
- Pumpkin Pie
HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN COFFEE
More often than not, pumpkin coffees are made with the spices that are associated with the flavor of pumpkin and not real pumpkin. Therefore you might find yourself brewing a cup of pumpkin coffee and not a single remnant of pumpkin goes into the cup, just the other spices that make up the pumpkin taste do so.
In order to make pumpkin coffee one would need instant coffee, an allspice, some cinnamon (or nutmeg), and water. Following the main components of the coffee it is a personal preference as to how much of the pumpkin flavoring to add, adding milk/milk powder and sugar or not, or if they would like their beverage hot or cold.
How is it made?
When making pumpkin coffee, the most important thing to keep in mind is to mix the pumpkin (or pumpkin spice) with the coffee granules before the coffee is brewed. Doing so will allow the pumpkin to dissolve into the coffee, giving you that pumpkin taste you are looking.
Combine the pumpkin spice, allspice, and coffee together until fully mixed. Add water to the mixture to brew the coffee to its entirety. Stir in milk powder, sugar, and additional pumpkin spice for more of a special taste.
Watch this YouTube video for more information.
No need to wait all year for the pumpkin spice drinks to hit the shops, make your own version at home using instant coffee. Waka Instant Coffee pairs greatly with pumpkin spices, plus you can make it whenever you crave it.
Love pumpkin-spiced everything? Check out the 65 pumpkin spiced products on Eater’s List of foods that have no relation to pumpkin at all. Such as soft caramels, protein powder, Oreo’s, cream cheese, butter, and much more.