Thursday, November 18, 2010

Oh Pumpkin, my pumpkin…

‘Tis the season (and has been for the past month and a half now) for PUMPKINS! Pumpkin things have been really high profile these days. Or maybe just haven’t noticed in previous years because I spent a good 3 years living in the southwest to which pumpkins are not native.

But I’ve noticed over the past 3 years since moving back that in autumn, in the east, there are pumpkin things, LOTS of pumpkin things, everywhere you look! And this does not mean just pumpkin pie… there are loads of other things out there just waiting to make your taste buds tingle.

Over the past month I took a mini-tour of pumpkin land. I gave myself a challenge: if there was a pumpkin thing available I would eat it and if there was a pumpkin drink available I would drink it. So I devoured and I chugged my way though the past month. Some good, some bad.

Here’s a little round-up of what I call PUMPKIN PARADISE:

Mini Pumpkin & Walnut Scones
Where I got it: Wegmans! Oh Wegmans, how I miss thee. I was able to snag these tasty treats while I was visiting Rochester.
Assessment: Ate them for breakfast for a week straight. Delish.

Pumpkin Cupcake
Where I got it: Sweet on Boylston St.
Assessment: MORE PLEASE! I don’t know what the deal is with this new cupcake craze, but I like it. Om nom nom.

Pumpkin Latte
Where I got it: Starbucks
Assessment: Starbucks pumpkin latte you taste so good, why do you have to be $5? Autumn always rekindles my ‘bucks addition… it probably didn’t help that I was lazy and it took me more than 2 weeks to buy coffee filters when I ran out. Hello autumn (and winter!) ‘bucks flavored lattes, goodbye paycheck.

Pumpkin Latte
Where I got it: Dunkin Donuts
Assessment: Not as pricey as ‘bucks, but also not as good. Le sigh. It was still worth drinking though.

Pumpkin Donut
Where I got it: Dunkin Donuts
Assessment: I love donuts, especially the cider ones that become popular in fall (even though I really don't eat them very often). This pumpkin donut didn’t let me down. Yum, you made my drive back to Rochester less boring.

Pumpkin Soup
Where I got it: Sunset (Boston)
Assessment: This was even more delish than I was expecting. Part chicken soup, part stew, this soup was everything – and more! I really enjoyed it, as you can tell.

Pumpkin Ice Cream
Where I got it: Sunset (Boston)
Assessment: I was already two pumpkin beers deep so maybe that’s why I thought this pumpkin ice cream was PHENOMINAL. It was served with pecan pie and whipped cream. So good.

Pumpkin Beer
Where I got it: Varieties!
Assessment: I love pumpkin beers. Each year it seems like there are more and more available at the stores. Pumpkin beers are delicious, spicy (with hints of cinnamon & nutmeg), sweet, flavorful. The best is when you get a pumpkin beer at a bar and they dust the rim with sugar or cinnamon… oh yum. This year I tried to taste as many pumpkin beers as I possibly could. Unfortunately beer goes to my brain and I forgot to write down every single one of the pumpkin beers I tried… sorry. BUT I will give you a peek at breweries whose pumpkin beers I definitely drank: Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, Wild Onion, Shipyard, Cambridge Brewing, Buffalo Bill’s, Saranac, Post Road, Cape Anne Brewing. Some of my favorites: Southern Tier & Shipyard are definitely my favorites – highly recommend! Looking for more info about pumpkin beers? I found this taste-off online HERE

Pumpkin Cocktail
Where I got it: Haru (sushi restaurant in the Back Bay)
Assessment: I was lured by the $5 special on this drink when all other cocktails at this restaurant were $12+. My first mistake was right there. My second was drinking the whole thing. Oh, and my third was accepting a pumpkin cocktail at a sushi restaurant. Ok, it wasn’t THAT bad, but random cocktails are not exactly my thing. I’ll take a pumpkin beer please.

Do you have a favorite pumpkin food or drink you would like to share? Or perhaps a pumpkin recipe? Go ahead, don’t be shy!

PS: While I love pumpkin and all that it stands for (autumn, leaves, cool weather but not COLD weather) a part of me is looking forward to the flavors of winter – Crème Brule and eggnog. I’ll have to set myself a challenge for those too… mmmm.

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