I like pumpkins just as much as the next guy.
But nine days after Halloween, pumpkins and their assorted permutations are as welcome as those political lawn signs littering our lives. The party’s over.
As a kid, a carved jack-o’-lantern appeared on our front porch a day or two before the 31st of October. We’d roast the seeds. At Thanksgiving, there’d be a pumpkin pie and I remember my mother making a lovely pumpkin cheesecake.
But in the fall of 2012, pumpkin is ubiquitous. Not partaking in pumpkin is like not having a fall flu shot. What’s with our obsession with an oversized squash? Give me acorn or butternut over pumpkin any time.
“Pumpkin is here!” says the sign at the Dunkin Donuts drive-through where I stop for coffee on the way to work. But I want nothing to do with pumpkin muffins or pumpkin mocha lattes.
The National Restaurant Association survey reveals 63 percent of restaurants are offering at least one seasonal pumpkin menu item. Libby’s tells me pumpkin is the new super food. Add pumpkin puree to hummus and chili, and bump up the nutritional content of butterscotch and chocolate topping by adding pumpkin before making ice cream sundaes.
At Publix, I see Pepperidge Farms Pumpkin Cheesecake Soft Dessert Cookies and Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese. The lady at the Aprons counter is making pumpkin sage grits. It’s even worse at Fresh Market where I see pumpkin salsa, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin scone mix, pumpkin-covered pretzels and pumpkin spiced almonds. Yuck!
At Total Wine, I try not to be diverted, but I’ve become a kind of pumpkin GPS: Samuel Adams Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Dogfish Head PunkinÖ Ale, Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat, Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale.
When is the pumpkin madness going to stop? Pinnacle Vodka makes a pumpkin pie flavor. There’s pumpkin pie soda and pumpkin spiced seltzer.
But the biggest atrocity comes from Pringles. As if stacked potato chips weren’t ridiculous enough, they’ve now released a pumpkin pie spice flavor. They were introduced along with white chocolate peppermint and cinnamon & sugar. Just in time for holidays!
Don’t get me started because I happen to hate gingerbread.