New & Now

Understanding the Pumpkin Craze

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It's fall. Did you know?


You may have heard the news from a certain food publication that has been proclaiming apple season from the rooftops. You may have walked by shelves of Oktoberfest beer at your local grocer. And maybe (just maybe!) you've heard that Starbucks is currently offering a little-known drink called the Pumpkin Spice Latte. In fact, you've likely been assaulted recently with pumpkin-flavored marketing. Which begs the question: why are we so excited about this unassuming squash?

According to New York Magazine, pumpkin is the new bacon: as a culture, we're obsessed. "Pumpkin Menuing" (yes, that's a thing) is at an all time high. But why? Unlike bacon, inherent flavor isn't what draws us to pumpkin. Rather, it's our subconscious association with the spice and sweetness that usually accompany America's most popular squash come October first. It's the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the sugar. It's the crunch of leaves and the thought of a Thanksgiving pie, not the subtle flavor that pumpkin takes on when roasted simply in the oven. Regardless of whether you like it cloying in your coffee or pureed in your soup, let's just hope that next year's bacon shortage isn't followed by a pumpkin shortage. Because a kabocha squash latte from Starbucks doesn't sound as appetizing.

Pumpkin is the New Bacon from New York Magazine


Photos by New York Magazine