Perhaps it’s best if you’re sitting.
The shock may be too much for you – but fear not, there is a warm and fuzzy place that we can help you find, one that will make it all better, so stay with us…
Perhaps it will come as no surprise to you that there is an actual Pumpkin Spice Day. The autumnal flavor seems to have taken over our world in a way that Frank Herbert fans will understand. (Nerd alert!) Like the mélange spice/drug of the planet Arrakis, also known as DUNE, Pumpkin Spice is everywhere now. It has even reached Little Debbie, and I suspect that Collegedale (the home of the snack cake giant) is covered in a fine dust of suspicious, orange tint.
But what may strike you as odd, perhaps even somehow wrong and wickedly disturbing is that where there is Pumpkin Spice, there may not be actual Pumpkin. I know, I know – it’s a terrible thought, and it’s one that leaves me reeling and wondering what will be left of the real and the natural order of things. When the very air is full of spice, when it infuses our lattes, fills our cereal bowls, and even clings to our almonds without a trace of the Big Orange Squash that single-handedly created the spice’s fame, well, the Great Chain of Being has broken into more pieces than Humpty Dumpty. And the world seems less right than before.
“But, but…” you sputter in shock, “Pumpkin Spice delights are often orange! Surely, surely that’s from real pumpkin!” Alas, that most delightful of all the colors, orange, is often simulated by the addition of annatto and paprika.
It’s easy to understand, even if it hurts the head to ponder; in much of processed food, it’s flavor or the simulation thereof that matters most. Actual ingredients be damned, as long as it tastes right, looks right or is at least close enough, then all is well. You may know people who actually prefer the fakers – like that strange group of folks who prefer the taste of banana Popsicle to the taste of an actual banana.
Okay, so that’s unfair – pumpkin spice is a real enough mélange of nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice, but on its own it’s really just spice. It could be spice cake spice, molasses cookie spice – heck, it’s only a couple of ingredients away from being garam masala spice. We need pumpkin to make it right.
We’re not trying to rain on anyone’s parade or throw shade on your seasonally affected flavor favor. Far from it – we have a safe place for you at the restaurant, a place where Pumpkin Spice lives in harmony as it should with the Great Pumpkin who is real and present in every bite. For this national day of observance, this Pumpkin Spice Day, we have Pumpkin Spice Morning Rolls that will warm up your nose and your heart for a full day of spiced remembrance. We’ll also have Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes to sweeten all the memories that come with the smell and flavor of this sweet squash and spice blend – memories of home baked treats and family gatherings where paprika stays safely on the deviled eggs.
Happy Pumpkin Spice Day – come and see us.