Pumpkin, Not Just for Jack o Lanterns Anymore
Food Safety
Mike Parker

American folklorist Washington Irving forever immortalized the pumpkin as terrifying icon of Halloween when he used the previously benign member the squash family as a substitute head for the legendary Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow. For nearly the next two centuries, Americans have turned millions of pumpkins into holiday Jack o’Lanterns to decorate their homes for trick-or-treaters. While autumn feasts have long included the obligatory pumpkin pie, there hasn’t been much other demand for the festive fruit.

That all changed shortly after the turn of the 21st century (2003 to be exact), when the tastemakers at Starbucks introduced the PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte). Suddenly, pumpkin was cool! Fast forward a dozen years, and pumpkin is the new black. It’s everywhere! This fall, Subway Restaurants have pumpkin spice cookies on the menu. Venerable cereal maker General Mills has introduced Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. Nabisco offers Pumpkin & Spice Triscuits. And if you really want to warm your insides, liquor icon Baileys has a limited-edition Baileys’ Pumpkin Spice Irish Crème. Candy maker Lindor features chocolaty Pumpkin Spice Truffles. And what holiday is complete without the ubiquitous marshmallow treats, PEEPS? Yep. You guessed it. This year you can get the baby chick shaped confections in a Pumpkin Spice Latte flavor.

The list goes on. There is limited edition chipotle pumpkin salsa to go with your harvest pumpkin tortilla chips, pumpkin spiced, pumpkin shaped marshmallows to go in your pumpkin hot chocolate, and pumpkin cream cheese spread to accent your pumpkin spice bagels.

So, go ahead and light that pumpkin spice scented candle. It’s cool.

Food Safety

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