Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Taste of the season

Pumpkin spice latte (PSL) season seemed to come early this year.

As a chef pal recently described it: “Pumpkin spice is like (rock group) Nickelback. In public you can’t say anything nice, but you’ll crank (it’s song) Photograph in the car while sipping your latte and hope no one notices you’re fist bumping the air.”

Have you ever wondered about the origin of pumpkin spice?

According to Wikipedia, it’s an American invention and its original purpose was to flavour pumpkin pie (of course) with a blend, most of the time, of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and maybe allspice. The latter is actually a berry, and until 2015, there was no actual pumpkin in a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. Rest easy, there is now pumpkin in the pumpkin spice syrup. You can easily make your own pumpkin spice. Here’s a handy recipe.

But then what? Here are a few ideas.

It’s October. That means Oktoberfest, and that means beer. If you’re going to have a seasonal pumpkin brew, the B.C. Ale Trail has a handy list and the results of a beer-bracket competition from last year.

And, yes indeed, if you ask Siri or Google, you will find Pumpkin spice latte brews around. Pumpkin spice and coffee in lager or ale form. Why not? It probably pairs exquisitely with a slice of pumpkin pie, but you could cut out the pie all together and go straight to the Pumpkin Pie Milkshake IPA from Surrey, B.C.’s Russell Brewing Co. They describe it as “pie in a can.”

What else can you do with pumpkin spice?

How about overnight pumpkin pie oats—pumpkin pie filling will soften the oats overnight (add a bit more spice before bed if you wish if the pre-made filling doesn’t have enough flavour) and mix it with some creamy yogurt in the morning.

Pumpkin spice bread, coffee cake, buns or scones. If you can, bake your creation in a bundt pan and you can call the dish “Gourd of the Rings.”

This won me a prize at an Oscar party many years ago when Lord of the Rings was nominated. At the end of the night, a tipsy guest took the last slice and called it “my precious” before chowing down.

Speaking of tipsy, the pumpkin martini is an idea for an upcoming Halloween gathering. Vanilla vodka, Irish Cream liqueur, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin spice. Shake well and serve in a chilled martini glass rimmed with crushed Graham crackers.

Then, follow up with a PSL in the morning.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

A creative thinker with more than two decades of experience in communications, Allison is an early adopter of social and digital media, bringing years of work in traditional media to the new frontier of digital engagement marketing through her company, All She Wrote.

She is the winner of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association's 2011 and 2012 awards for Social Media Initiative, an International LERN award for marketing, and the 2014 Penticton Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Hospitality/Tourism.

Allison has amassed a following on multiple social networks of more than 30,000, frequently writes and about social media, food and libations as well as travel and events, and through her networks, she led a successful bid to bring the Wine Bloggers Conference to Penticton in June 2013, one of the largest social media wine events in the world, generating 31 million social media impressions, $1 million in earned media, and an estimated ongoing economic impact of $2 million.

In 2014, she held the first Canadian Wine Tourism Summit to spark conversation about the potential for wine tourism in Canada as a year-round economic driver.

Allison contributes epicurean content to several publications, has been a judge for several wine and food competitions, and has earned her advanced certificate from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.

In her spare time, she has deep, meaningful conversations with her cats.

She can be reached at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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