Put down the pumpkin
Pumpkin products have overtaken the supermarket shelves once again and it is our responsibility to finally stop the madness. | Illustration by Jenna Schmidt/THE CHIMES
It is time to take a stand against the tyranny of a certain seasonal squash. Pumpkin has seeped into far too many foods in which it and its spices do not belong. Slowly but surely, we have accepted it. Believing that it is just a benevolent squash adding flavor for the common good, we embraced it for the feeling of fall it added to our day. We applauded its bravery for trying out pancakes, milkshakes and ice cream. But pumpkin grew restless and marched on to new frontiers and we turned a blind eye, telling ourselves it was just seasonal, it was charming and not that much of an imposition. Before we knew it, pumpkin effectively blitzkrieged more than half of the grocery store.
The era of pumpkin appeasement must end and we can be the ones to stop it. We must free Poland — I mean Trader Joes — from the iron grip of the pumpkin regime. We must stand firm and put pumpkin back in its place, relegating it to the foods it shines in and obliterating its presence from the sundries it has sullied.
I too have been a victim of blindness towards the spicy squash. Too many times I gulped down a pumpkin spice latte from my local Starbucks during my high school days. Too many times have I jumped at the chance to order the pumpkin pancakes at my favorite breakfast spot. Too many pins on my Pinterest boards involve pumpkin-inundated desserts for the fall season. But no more. I have seen the writing on the pumpkin spice Cliff Bar and Milano packages. It has gone too far.
We should enjoy pumpkin soup and eagerly welcome the ever-present pie to our Thanksgiving tables. Pumpkin bread is even acceptable as the season permits. But we must resist the urge to lace every meal with pumpkin simply because it is seasonal. Between the pumpkin breakfast cereal, croutons, bagels, waffles, cinnamon rolls, cream cheese and even dog treats, it is a wonder that we have not all blown up into giant orange gourds a la Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka. Oompa Loompas should be rolling us down the supermarket aisles at this point.
I hope you join ranks against the scourge of this squash before it is too late. There are other seasonal produce starting with the letter “p” also worthy of our attention, such as pomegranates, pears, pecans and persimmons. Pumpkin in its ambition has overshadowed them, and only we, the consumers, can put it back in its place. So, put down the pumpkin and slowly walk away.