I don’t normally partake in controversial issues. Especially these days amidst global volatility, an insane election and various tensions occurring on American soil. But one particular issue, I simply will not stand for. In my deepest roots, the core of who I am, I will not stand for the pumpkin spice strikes and anti-pumpkinators that are on the uprise.
It all started a few years back with what I like to call Pumpkingate. The Starbucks scandal that resulted in some of the worst press they had ever received. The scandal included SpiciLeaks that exploited the artificial ingredients included in their beloved “PSL.” It wasn’t long after this breaking news that we started to see a cultural shift. Bitterness formed. Injustice reared its ugly head, as if all pumpkin spice treats were created equal. If Starbucks could serve us such processed crap, then I mustn’t ever bake another pie until I can grow my own fields of pumpkin! Sure, it was Aug. 30th or a bit earlier when our pump-kin started to show its face, but I ask you one question:
What did Pumpkin Spice ever do to you?
Living but not born and raised in Houston, Texas – the flavors of fall are some of the only things we can aspire to, cling to. When it’s football opening weekend, fall-fashion swarms the stores and school is back in session, we’re still not-so-chilling in 90 degrees. Loathing the heat. Sweating on the field. Sending our kids to the first day of school in flip-flops. But there are a few things to be joyful about. For starters, most of the country is soon to be a frozen, unproductive tundra and we’ll alas be getting our outdoor enjoyment – celebrating cooler temps that start in the 80’s but bring relief, then 70s, on down to an approximate coldest temperature range of low to mid 40’s all winter long. We’ll be a little hot at first in knee-high boots and flannel tunics, but we’ll do it anyway. The hipsters will be especially toasty in their wooly beanies, scarves and excessive layers, but there’s no judgment here. Why? Because there is something that unites us with one another. The hipsters, the Houstonites and the rest of the orange and golden leaved states.
I like to think of pumpkin spice first and foremost in the form of a latte. A close tie for second would be any sort of muffin, pastry or loaf. Soon, I’ll start to throw a little canned pumpkin and pumpkin spice in my Saturday morning pancake batter, or dust a golden slice of french toast. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll dash some p.spice in my morning protein shake. The possibilities are endless.
But pumpkin spice is so much more than literal. You can’t hate on pumpkin spice and have a love affair with pumpkin ales, pumpkin whits, pumpkin ciders. Don’t even talk to me if you’ll crack open an icy cold Oktoberfest but cringe at my latte and its early arrival. Our spicy friend is symbolic of what’s to come. The debut of pumpkin spice brings hope to southern sweltering states. It warms the souls of those experiencing a true and crisp fall. It is the master of ceremonies for holiday bliss – ushering in Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. First comes pumpkin spice, then the caramely apples, S’mores, chili’s, fall beers and cocktails. Soon, pumpkin spice will peak in its Thanksgiving pie or dump cake. It will be shoveled into over-stuffed bellies and settle in among Thanksgiving feast and leftovers. Finally, it will gracefully step-down to its Christmas successor, Peppermint. On mocha’s, on white chocolate pretzels and candy canes.
So again, I ask you. What did Pumpkin Spice ever do to you? Is it the villain or victim here?
Bringing joy to millions who are unbiased to timelines – guilty as charged.
Delicious and indulgent? Guilty.
Cozy, symbolic and and good for the soul? Guilty on all accounts.
Let us not join the revolt, but defeat them. Say yes to pumpkin spice, even if it sprouts early.
Make fall great again.