By Jonny Parshall | Opinions Editor
As summer cools, and autumn waxes, my heart flutters. Fall is my favorite time of year, more so than Christmas, Summer and the UEFA Champions League final combined. It is not just my heart, however, it is also my stomach. And my tastebuds. Because that is when pumpkin is in season, and with it, the myriad of pumpkin-themed foods and beverages. Do not confuse me for a casual pumpkin fan. I don’t drink the occasional PSL, or enjoy the random slice of pumpkin pie. I eat and drink everything pumpkin.
Lattes pies cereals cakes cookies oatmeals frostings coffees creamers syrups breads muffins cupcakes cheesecakes sprinkles dips eggnogs whipped cream EVEN BEER.
All of it.
And I get more and more excited each year, because with each fresh autumn season there seems to be more and more gourmet pumpkin offerings.
This year I tried pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts for the very first time. I’m not a huge fan of Pop-Tarts, but this variety blew me away like an early November wind. It tasted so authentic, not like most PopTarts that taste of dust and old jam.
Last year it was pumpkin spice Frosted Flakes. Both my son and I decided that was a sure winner. They were Gggrrrreat!
And so forth.
I know not why I love pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice and all other culinary derivatives of our favorite fall gourd. That is, at least, beyond the fact it tastes amazing.
Part of my pumpkin addiction might be symbolic in nature. Fall symbolizes many happy times and memories for me, and the pumpkin symbolizes fall better than any leaf, ghost, bat or apple might. Pumpkins are native to Central and North America, and as a proud American, I much prefer this to European or Asian fall vegetables such as beets or turnips.
It’s good to know we have something especially ours, kind of like barbecue or the cheeseburger.
Another part of my pumpkin addiction might be nostalgic in nature. As a child, my parents would take me each year to the local cider mill. And while picking apples and drinking cider were fine and dandy, my favorite part was picking the pumpkins from the patch, and eating the pumpkin flavored doughnuts. I was a little chonk, and that chonk exists within me today.
Exactly why pumpkin resonates so much with my tastebuds is irrelevant. It just does. And looking around, I can see I’m not the only one to agree. Perhaps one day pumpkin will be replaced as the go-to autumn delicacy, perhaps by cranberries or turkey gravy. Until then I will continue gorging myself on such orange, nutmeggy treats.
Did I mention I pee orange as a result?
By: Sydney Stevens | Copy Editor
Let me first start off by saying I am not the type of person to make other people feel bad for what they enjoy. I will not ruin someone else’s happiness because I may not enjoy what they enjoy. That being said, pumpkin is one of the most horrendous “foods” I have ever had the displeasure of eating and I get far too overwhelmed with the number of pumpkin products that flood the market. Clearly, I don’t have a “gourd” time during the autumn months.
Every fall season, I try my best to steer clear of the wretched squash as I make my way through the season. But my efforts always seem fruitless since pumpkins are pretty much smashed in my face.
My dislike of pumpkin started at the Stevens Family Thanksgiving of 2011. It was the last Thanksgiving I spent with my father and he encouraged me to try a dessert other than my safe choices of peach cobbler and pound cake. Trusting my father with my life, considering that he helped in creating it, I ventured through the crowds of my family and made my way to the sweet holy grail of Thanksgiving. I grabbed the treacherous pre-cut slice of pumpkin pie and took a bite. I had never been more disgusted in my entire life. My dislike festered into hatred when I was subjected to the Pumpkin Spice culture. I know I could just not buy anything pumpkin spice related, but it is impossible to avoid making mistakes when I’m not expecting my precious apple cider to be poisoned.
Doughnuts, apple cider and peanut butter are just a few of my favorite products that have been tainted by pumpkin spice. I am tired of always having to be wary of buying the wrong product because companies thought it would be a great idea to fuse fall favorites with the abomination that is pumpkin spice. These same companies also weren’t bright enough to create different packaging.
To conclude my rant, pumpkin and pumpkin products are gross and they have no place in my life. Pumpkin overshadows the other great, and better, things that autumn has to offer, and I wish people would see that. But alas, people are blinded by the spice.