It’s that time of year when the whispers of the wind capture and carry away the once green and lush treetop foliage turned golden yellow, fiery orange and rust red. The autumnal equinox has come and passed, signalling the official end of summer and the beginning of fall.
However, there is another “unofficial” kick-off to fall as of last few years, and it became a topic of conversation this morning between myself and my favorite morning show radio hosts… The start of pumpkin spice season.
Ben, Dana & Giselle – “What is the Worst Part of Fall, Dave?”
Dave – “Pumpkin pie spice flavored everything is definitely the worst part about Fall.”
I explained that the flavor by itself is fine, but the fanatic craze of seeing pumpkin pie spice used to flavor everything is just too much. (Followed by awkward silence because I was still in shock that Ben, Dana and Giselle called me after I texted in my hatred for pumpkin pie spice. They are so awesome!)
After we hung up, I started to think “Why do I hate pumpkin pie spice so much?” I realized that I hate the corporate hijacking of my beloved fall dessert.
I absolutely love pumpkin pie. I love it so much that for thanksgiving I make three pumpkin pies. Two pies for myself and one pie for everyone else. I find it best served cold, in the morning for breakfast. There is no better way to awaken your taste buds in the morning than with a nice slice of pumpkin pie.
But that is where the corruption starts. The flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove work so well in the morning that someone came up with the idea to add it to your morning cup of coffee… and the pumpkin spice latte is born.
The tragedy is that desecration of pumpkin spice didn’t stop there. Pumpkin spice products have taken over the world and are diluting what makes pumpkin pie so wonderful. Everything from chewing gum (link) to pizza (link) has been tainted by the fad of pumpkin spice. The Corporate exploitation of the fall flavor trinity has certainly been profitable though. Forbes estimates the pumpkin spice industry brought in $500 million in sales for 2015 (link). But I ask you, is it worth the degradation of all the goodness that makes pumpkin pie so wonderful?
Pumpkin pie is wonderful because it’s about togetherness. It’s meant to be served to family or friends and enjoyed together. When you eat pumpkin pie, you are reminded of all the times spent around the Thanksgiving dinner table passing pie plates to loved ones while you contemplate the absence of room in your stomach. These things have real solid meaning.
When you pull away from the coffee shop drive-thru with your pumpkin spice latte, you are experiencing something artificial. It lacks substance, like a drug creating a void that will always leave you craving more. So you move onto the next pumpkin spice item and then the next pumpkin spice item. Soon you are surrounded by a mountain range of wrappings and containers torn apart in your lust for pumpkin spice. When all you really needed was to sit down with friends, family and a slice of classic pumpkin pie to experience something real… Love.