Labor Day has come and gone and the “Let’s throw copyrights out the window” memes that we know and love have sprouted up on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. Pick a side, folks, because fall is here, and you can’t be neutral when a squash is at stake. It’s…
The Annual American Pumpkin Wars
It used to be that you would only see pumpkin in home cooking, or you buy something from the bakery. Pumpkin would show up in pies, cakes, or soup basically. Or, if you were from New England, you were on the receiving end of the glory that is the Pumpkin Whoopie Pie.
But along came Starbucks and the Pumpkin Spice Latte, and people who need their usual coffees in the morning are complaining about extra long lines because of seasonal clove-infused overly sweetened autumnal crack syrup. And capitalism being capitalism, other companies had to get in on the action. Naturally, there are sectors of the public who are saying, “Enough!”.
So I went to my local Target to the food section to see how bad it really was. I wasn’t actively seeking pumpkin food. I just took pictures of what was in my eyeshot.
M&M’s gone hipster. Whodathunk?
I didn’t even go down the coffee/tea aisles, nor the dairy sections. And I didn’t take pictures of everything that I saw.
To compound all of this, Starbucks announced this year that their Pumpkin Spice Lattes will now contain real pumpkin. Of course, we all have to ask, “What was in them in the beforehand?!?!?!?” The souls of baristas?
My stance in all of this? I love pumpkin, but I love the real thing, so I bake my own goodies. I tried one Pumpkin Spice Latte and only took three sips because of how cloying it was, and I only go crazy for the pumpkin cereal bars at Trader Joe’s. (Speaking of which, I need to stalk them and don my crumpet helmet too.)
But that does not mean I will protest against anyone else loving pumpkin this time of year. Freedom of eating is an implied right really. After all, The Boffin and The Sprog lose their minds around the holidays where everything has peppermint and chocolate infused into it.
It all balances out.
Edited to add: According to the Washington Post, pumpkin flavored anything added up to $360 million in sales this past year up to July, up 11% from the previous year and up 80% since 2011. I wonder how much sales will be this year.