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Yo dawg I heard you liked pumpkin so I put pumpkin in everything you eat
October 16, 2012 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Felix Salmon on why pumpkin is the new bacon. The weird thing about pumpkin’s rise to baconlike ubiquity is that pumpkin, on its own, is not a very appetizing food at all. A dense and stringy fruit, it needs the accompaniment of a lot of sugar and spices before it becomes particularly palatable.

Related: Ten Things Improved by Pumpkin Flavoring. Pumpkin-Flavored Fast Food. An Open Letter to Pumpkin-Flavored Seasonal Treats. Also pumpkins are actually good for you so try cooking with one this fall.
posted by Cash4Lead (156 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

 
Felix Salmon on why pumpkin is the new bacon.

I figure it'll peak right around January.
posted by DU at 12:03 PM on October 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


Pomegranite beat both of them.

But seriously, no one steams pumpkin like you would a squash? I love pumpkin in all its forms.

10 things improved by pumpkin

- Pie


Erm. Who is having "plain" pies that could do with a little pumpkin? Somebody munching on empty pie shells?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [20 favorites]


Cash4Lead: " Ten Things Improved by Pumpkin Flavoring."

Spoiler: This is the word "nothing" written out ten times. Well, not really. But most "pumpkin" flavored things are actually nutmeg/ spice flavored .

in reality, that buzzfeed list is just 10 foods that have pumpkin in them. why bother writing that?
posted by boo_radley at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


We just got Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks for the first time in the UK, so it must be true.
posted by Gordafarin at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think people actually just like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves and sugar.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [45 favorites]


Pumpkin, I served bacon for breakfast. I put bacon on my lunch. Bacon will be part of my dinner. Pumpkin, you're no bacon.
posted by bondcliff at 12:05 PM on October 16, 2012 [35 favorites]


Heh. I had a late night marjoram emergency last night, and I was amused to see most spices fully in stock with basically a run on nutmeg.

But pumpkin has a lovely taste, and smell. However, I do tend to cut back on other ingredients (including sugar) in my pumpkin pies, so maybe that's just me.

(I also don't ruin rhubarb with this "strawberry" substance, and have been known to eat it by the stalk)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


My favorite time of the year is October and November, solely so I can shove as many pumpkin things in my body as possible during this timeframe.

You know, part of the appeal is that you can only get that pumpkin spice latte about 20% of the year, right?
posted by Windigo at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


Steamed/ baked Pumpkin diced with fried bacon actually would be quite tasty
posted by Bwithh at 12:06 PM on October 16, 2012


Steamed/ baked Pumpkin diced with fried bacon actually would be quite tasty

This is basically pumpkin soup, minus the "being a soup" part. It is quite tasty.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pomegranite beat both of them.

That stuff from the English quarries is OK I guess, but we've never regretted spending more for genuine Italian marble for our kitchen counters.
 
posted by Herodios at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


Let's not forget how delicious pumpkin seeds are. ...very delicious, that is.
posted by IjonTichy at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


They make good projectiles for air cannons, though!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Perfect.

For this is the day that HR distributed pumpkins to everybody in the company for mandatory Halloween 'fun'. Like, I came in, and there's a pumpkin on my desk. Last year, our team used them for pumpkin forts and to hold down some of our testing supplies.

Unlike last year, though, I'm not going to just let it rot to pieces. I may take mine home to actually cook with it. And possibly some orphan pumpkins as well. Now to find a nice, savory pumpkin pie recipe.
posted by spinifex23 at 12:09 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always been partial to Felix Pumpkin's view that salmon is the new bacon.
posted by kmz at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I made a pumpkin and bacon risotto yesterday. Little did I know I was trendblending.
posted by rhymer at 12:12 PM on October 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Here's a tip: if you like the spiced, warm flavor of fall foods but want something you can make year round, find a nice picadillo recipe with cinnamon and raisins. Yum.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:12 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Let's not forget how delicious pumpkin seeds are.

And what fun it is digging little bits of them out of your teeth, with your tongue!
posted by msalt at 12:12 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was waiting for this

How To Made Homemade Pumpkin Pie FROM A REAL PUMPKIN

I've also had success with various squashes. The most important step is the water removal. The pie has a deep, rich flavor not found in the canned glop. And yes, I use pre-frozen dough.

Pumpkin Ale, on Beer Advocate.
The Best Pumpkin Beer.

Sam Adams has a 'Harvest Pumpkin', Dogfish has 'Punkin Ale', Smuttynose has 'Pumpkin Ale and so does Blue Point Brewing.

Something to watch out for are 'pumpkin ale' or beer vs. 'pumpkin spice beer.' The former are usually made with the gourd, the latter with nutmeg, cloves, allspice, etc.

Some of them can be very strong! I'd recommend sampling them before buying a lot, and trying a few different styles before writing them off entirely. Some are light and floral,m some earthy and warm, some spicy and smoky.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:12 PM on October 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


It was Thanksgiving a week ago, and I made pumpkin ice cream. It was delicious - creamy and smooth, with the standard spices.

And then with the leftover pumpkin puree I had (made by blending a sugar pumpkin, not the canned stuff), I made a pumpkin & nut bread. Which is seriously one of the best breads I've made, and I didn't put in any of the standard spicing, so it's purely pumpkin. OMG.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah, this article is about pumpkin PIE SPICE flavoring, not pumpkin. I had hoped it would be about pumpkin as in the winter squashes the rest of the world call pumpkin and which are deliciously edible as an actual savory food: the butternuts, the acorns, the kabochas.

One day I was making acorn squash and my mother got out the goddamned brown sugar, same as she does with sweet potatoes. Chill out and put some garlic on instead, you don't *have* to sweeten every vaguely sweet food in the world.

Confession: I love Vermont Curry with butternut squash, which kinda violates what I just said but it's totally okay because of spicy.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:13 PM on October 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


Let's not forget how delicious pumpkin seeds are. ...very delicious, that is.

Also supposedly a treatment for developing tapeworms, if you find yourself deciding the sushi you just ate was a tad dodgy.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:14 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pumpkin sure is a weird word.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 12:14 PM on October 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


My grandmother baked the simplest, most delicious pumpkin pies throughout my childhood. The thin, flaky crust she'd roll out with her old, powdery wooden pin. The creamy texture that would exude small pools of moisture if left out too long. The dense ridge of baked dough patterned with tiny crows' feet that hung out over the lip of the tin pan.

But she never baked a bacon pie. If she had, I would've thrown that pumpkin pie out the window.
posted by NationalKato at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Joe's Incredible Bacon Pumpkin Pie


I can't vouch for this, nor do I recommend it. (There are plenty of other suggestions if you type "bacon and pumpkin recipes" into Google...but the ridiculous awesome swagger of this one won out.)

On preview: pumpkin and bacon risotto sounds amazing.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:15 PM on October 16, 2012


Confession: I love Vermont Curry with butternut squash, which kinda violates what I just said but it's totally okay because of spicy.

Being previously unfamiliar with this product, I can tell you that, unless you know it's a brand name, "Vermont Curry" is a phrase that makes zero sense no matter how many times you read it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:16 PM on October 16, 2012 [19 favorites]


I don't think it's the new bacon at all. Yes, it seems to be flooding the market a bit this year...... but it's seasonal. It will pass in a month and come back next Autumn. Not a big deal.

I'm already looking forward to Nog season.
posted by troika at 12:18 PM on October 16, 2012


Durn Bronzefist:
Erm. Who is having "plain" pies that could do with a little pumpkin? Somebody munching on empty pie shells?
Well, actually, my grandma used to butter the scraps and add cinnamon-sugar, but... yes.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:19 PM on October 16, 2012


Pumpkin Pie Poptarts are terrific.
posted by maryr at 12:19 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, having the word salmon up there makes this a yucky, yucky recipe. Salmon Bacon Pumpkin Scones.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I knew I'd posted my pumpkin soup recipe on the green before, so I decided to do a search. Wow, MeFites sure like their pumpkin, there's 8 pages of results?
posted by Runes at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Salmon Bacon Pumpkin Poptarts.
posted by dirtdirt at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The month's more than half over, and I still haven't attempted this pumpkin bread made with pumpkin ale.
posted by Iridic at 12:21 PM on October 16, 2012


It's more like the potato skins of the 2012 Autumn.

I pointed out to a gfrd once that no one actually likes potato skins; we have to cover them in bacon, cheese, sour cream, and chopped chives bef...

BRB. Got a craving.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2012


Sorry but no. Everyone knows that lardo was the new bacon then speck was the new lardo (maybe it was the other way around) so pumpkin must now be the new lardo or speck. However I have been hearing rumblings that pancetta is the new pumpkin.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:22 PM on October 16, 2012


My favorite time of the year is October and November, solely so I can shove as many pumpkin things in my body as possible during this timeframe.

TMI.
posted by maryr at 12:23 PM on October 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


I think I've been invited everywhere by now.... I mean to the homes of all my pupils, both in town and country. And oh, Gilbert darling, I am so sick of pumpkin preserves. Never, never let us have pumpkin preserves.

Almost everywhere I've gone for the past month I've had P.P. for supper. The first time I had it I loved it... it was so golden I felt I was eating preserved sunshine... and I incautiously raved about it. It got bruited about that I was very fond of P.P. and people had it on purpose for me. Last night I was going to Mr. Hamilton's and Rebecca Dew assured me that I wouldn't have to eat P.P. there because none of the Hamiltons liked it. But when we sat down to supper, there on the sideboard was the inevitable cut-glass bowl full of P.P.

"I hadn't any punkin preserves of my own," said Mrs. Hamilton, ladling me out a generous dishful, "but I heard you was terrible partial to it, so when I was to my cousin's in Lowvale last Sunday I sez to her, 'I'm having Miss Shirley to supper this week and she's terrible partial to punkin preserves. I wish you'd lend me a jar for her.' So she did and here it is and you can take home what's left."

You should have seen Rebecca Dew's face when I arrived home from the Hamilton's bearing a glass jar two-thirds full of P.P.! No one likes it here so we buried it darkly at dead of night in the garden.


Anne Shirley, in a letter to her fiancé Gilbert Blythe, in Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery.
posted by orange swan at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2012 [17 favorites]


Well, actually, my grandma used to butter the scraps and add cinnamon-sugar, but... yes.
We used to spread a little of whatever jam or fruit butter we had lying around and roll the leftover pie crust into mini jelly rolls.

I made a darling butternut squash and apple soup last week, which I guess counts as sweetening the squash. Winter squashes do go nicely with curry. When I make squash "fries" (cut into sticks, rubbed in a little oil, baked until a little crisp), I'll sprinkle some curry powder of them.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2012


bacon latte.
posted by goethean at 12:25 PM on October 16, 2012


Metafilter: solely so I can shove -- well you know where I'm going with that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:26 PM on October 16, 2012


pumpkin is the new bacon

BLASPHEMER!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:29 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


goethean: bacon latte.

Rogue makes a Voodoo Donut maple bacon ale. The bacon is waaaay to overpowering, though. Very upset when I realized it was barely donut.
posted by troika at 12:30 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pumpkin sure is a weird word.

It's the best endearment ever though, especially for babies.
posted by msalt at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Broker: Homer, you knuckle-beak, I told you a hundred times: you've got to sell your pumpkin futures before Halloween! Before!
posted by foot at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


pumpkin, on its own, is not a very appetizing food at all

You know, either 'pumpkin' is another word that it turns out means something totally different here, or this is a complete lie. Pumpkin, thrown in an oven with a bit of oil, is fucking delicious. I also eat it steamed in the microwave like a potato, although sometimes I add butter to either of them.
I also don't understand where pumpkin pie even came from and why sweet potatoes go with marshmallows, but one thing at a time.
posted by jacalata at 12:32 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I really like the squash-pumpkin continuum when used in non-pie ways. I'm trying to work out more savory ways to eat them this fall, because normally how we eat them is like so:

Squash Gratin (I think this is a Jacques Pepin recipe originally).

*take some kind of squash. I prefer acorn to butternut by a wide margin. Other hard squashes would probably also work. Do whatever you need to do to to get it cooked and peeled and seeded. (Microwave, steam, bake, whatever.)
*chop it into chunks.
*butter a baking dish. Heat the oven to 400.
*dump the chunks of squash into the baking dish. Salt and pepper if desired.
*pour a cup or so of heavy cream over the squash.
*scatter a handful of grated Parmesan over the top. (Obviously you should grate up some REAL Parmesan, but I actually just use a handful of the Trader Joe's kind direct from the can, because I'm classy.)
*bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 30 minutes.
*cram into your cramhole.

This is (obviously) very rich. It is extremely delicious and at my house it leads to mild snarling as we fight over the crispy parts.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 12:33 PM on October 16, 2012 [22 favorites]


I'm already looking forward to Nog season.
Nog Season!
Whelk Season!
Nog Season!
Whelk Season!
Whelk Season!
Nog Season!
BLAM!
posted by zamboni at 12:37 PM on October 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have been joking with the Trader Joe's checkers that at the rate they're going, the entire store is going to be pumpkin flavored by the end of next week.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:43 PM on October 16, 2012


Mmm, nog season. I actually don't buy milk during December — I just buy egg nog.
posted by orange swan at 12:43 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mmm, nog season. I actually don't buy milk during December — I just buy egg nog.

This is either going to be the best or worst bowl of Cracklin' Oat Bran I've ever had.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2012 [15 favorites]


I just successfully completed my first experiment with infusing vodka, and letmetellyou roast pumpkin (+ vanilla bean + cinnamon stick + nutmeg) IS AMAZEBALLS PUMPKIN SEASON I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
posted by psoas at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


This year's one-ton pumpkin.

Bacon > pumpkin in my world.
posted by maggieb at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2012


Upstate Farms makes a pumpkin spice milk that may as well be pumpkin nog. Same company made a Birthday Cake milk to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Buffalo Bills. I can confirm both as being better than you'd expect.
posted by troika at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


So you like pumpkin and not that fall spice melange that they call pumpkin flavor? THEN WHY AREN'T YOU USING BUTTERNUT SQUASH? Because it's like pumpkin, but 5x better. So there.

Also, for people who are making pie dough cookies, I'm about to blow your minds. Ready? Here goes. Instead of cinnamon sugar fill them with a thin layer of dijon mustard (thin it out with a bit of olive oil or something). Just trust me on this.
posted by aspo at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pie Dough Cookies? Tell me everything!!!
posted by troika at 12:55 PM on October 16, 2012


Kaddo borawni — an Afghan dish of baked pumpkin with meat sauce. Mmm.
posted by Nomyte at 12:56 PM on October 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


BLAM!

people please stop hunting us down to eat us
posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is the first I'm hearing about pumpkin's ubiquity. I saw five pictures of bacon on Facebook this morning. Salmon's premise seems faulty. (Ironically, salmon is the next food in line for a totebagger-friendly rise to "ubiquity.")
posted by aaronetc at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2012


I made a darling butternut squash and apple soup last week, which I guess counts as sweetening the squash.

I take back what I said about diluting ingredients. That sounds amazing.
(It also reminds me that everytime I "cook" in Skyrim I come away wanting to make soups, even apple & cabbage)
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2012


You know what needs to be next? Feijoa needs to be next.
posted by troika at 1:03 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tell me more about this butternut squash/apple soup.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:03 PM on October 16, 2012


Ah, the perfect place to ask! Using the specific words "Pumpkin Spice" as a marketing term: did Starbucks lose a trademark injunction or something this year? I feel like I'm seeing that exact term applied to dozens of products this year when in the past it was just "pumpkin". Google didn't turn up anything, so probably just confirmation bias.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2012


I'm already looking forward to Nog season.

I never go out of season, baby

except during summer when rivulets of sweat soak through all my clothing

and I get cranky

sorry please accept this e-card as an apology
posted by Greg Nog at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Pie dough cookies, they are what you do with the scraps of pie dough you have left after making a delicious pie.

You take the scraps fill them with a bit of cinnamon sugar, fold them over or wrap them up or something and then throw them in the oven till they brown a bit and then give them to the kids who are so excited about PIE PIE PIE that they need something to calm them down. Or if you are lucky like me and don't have kids you get to nom nom nom them all yourself (because you are so excited about PIE PIE PIE that you need something to calm down.)
posted by aspo at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Tell me more about this butternut squash/apple soup.
It started out life as more or less this recipe, though I was kind of careless about the amounts and I just used an immersion blender instead of bothering with a food processor.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2012


Insert my Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe here > ...
posted by Thorzdad at 1:11 PM on October 16, 2012


I've been growing sugar pumpkins for a few years now. I can tell you it makes a far superior pumpkin pie. The color of the canned stuff...it just ain't right.

Also, use whole spice and grind it. The McCormicks, years old, next to the stove heating up and oxidizing just isn't going to have the same kick as fresh ground cinnamon and cloves.

On pie dough, 50/50 leaf lard and butter. You'll thank me later.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:13 PM on October 16, 2012


The timing on this post is amazing. I'm going to the store later today to get (amongst other items) stuff to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls this weekend. My wife shares the same compulsion as windigo.
posted by LionIndex at 1:15 PM on October 16, 2012


The timing on this post is amazing. I'm going to the store later today to get (amongst other items) stuff to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls this weekend. My wife shares the same compulsion as windigo.

GET OUT BEFORE SHE EATS YOU.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2012 [9 favorites]


We just got Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks for the first time in the UK, so it must be true.

I used to love those. Then I got a job at SBUX HQ, where every kitchen area is a miniature Starbucks set up, and in addition to making myself far too many lattes I got a look at the Pumpkin Spice Latte syrup, which is a sort of luminous orange. Haven't been able to drink them since.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2012


Also the best use for pumpkin is in Thai curry.
posted by Artw at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


It was Thanksgiving a week ago

TIME LORD OR CANADIAN: YOU DECIDE
posted by elizardbits at 1:23 PM on October 16, 2012 [23 favorites]


TIME LORD OR CANADIAN: YOU DECIDE

I don't see that these things are mutually exclusive.
posted by jimmythefish at 1:24 PM on October 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


I saw so many pumpkin ales at the grocery store last week that I created a mixed sixer and brought it home to my bf and we had a pumpkin beer taste test date night out of little shot glasses.

Side note: it is fun to drink beer out of a shot glass.
posted by rmless at 1:27 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


i don't have any shot glasses, can i pour it directly into my face

[ ] y
[ ] n
posted by elizardbits at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


[✓] y
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 1:30 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pumpkin: Sweet, spicy, rather subtle when done right.

Bacon: Strong greasy flavors with a hint of oil, and an aftertaste of grease.

Personally, I'm offended on pumpkin's behalf.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think people actually just like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cloves and sugar.

take orange juice, warm on the stove with the above ingredients (minus the sugar). add some liquor at the end if that's your style.
posted by nadawi at 1:31 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


(uh, use whole spices and strain them out so it's not gritty)
posted by nadawi at 1:32 PM on October 16, 2012


A friend last year made these amazing stuffed roast pumpkins. I think squash would have been tastier, but the presentation would definitely have been lacking.

Her things were pumpkins with some of the meat taken out and replaced with sausages, breadcrumb sauce thing of some kinda, and some finely chopped veggies. It was tasty. There was no nutmeg. But the presentation, you just popped off the top of the pumpkin and dug in...

Braaaaaaiiiinss
posted by Feantari at 1:35 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Back when I used to lurk on rec.crafts.brewing there was a fairly extensive thread about how it's basically impossible to add enough pumpkin to the wort to impart any noticeable real pumpkin flavoring to the resulting beer; the takeaway was that pumpkin beers are pretty much all about the spices that make your brain think "Mmm! Pumpkin pie!" - sort of like mock apple pie uses cinnamon and nutmeg to trick your brain into thinking 'apples'.
posted by usonian at 1:35 PM on October 16, 2012


rmless: "I saw so many pumpkin ales at the grocery store last week that I created a mixed sixer and brought it home to my bf and we had a pumpkin beer taste test date night out of little shot glasses.

Side note: it is fun to drink beer out of a shot glass.
"

Well? Which was the winner?
posted by Gordafarin at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, you're suggesting Ritz beer, then?
posted by maryr at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2012


This week I've already had pumpkin soup and penne with a pumpkin and garlic sauce. Both were great.
posted by Area Man at 1:43 PM on October 16, 2012


I've already hit the local Baskin-Robbins for their pumpkin ice cream. Twice.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:44 PM on October 16, 2012


The Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider was not as exciting as it should have been (though the parking-ticket-orange label is pretty keen). Their Fall Cider is the way to go - so much cinnamon!
posted by maryr at 1:46 PM on October 16, 2012


Maybe he is no aware that pumpkin is seasonal? It happens every year Felix.
posted by Napierzaza at 1:48 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


All of Woodchuck's seasonal ciders have been incredible this year - the spring cider? with blueberries and maple? omg. The pumpkin cider wasn't as good, it was basically a pumpkin soda...but hey if you're in the mood for a pumpkin soda...

Maine Root's pumpkin soda is also good, if you aren't into the booze.
posted by troika at 1:48 PM on October 16, 2012


To be a bit, erm, Italian about this: does pumpkin come in the all-chestnutty, eat-it-with-its-wizened-rind potiron/Hokkaido guise at all, stateside? Because if that bland-to-nondescript, spice-requiring stolid orange composite is the new bacon, I'm not even sure where to start looking for the comparative metaphors here...
posted by progosk at 1:51 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would say Pumpkin is the new cranberry.

Pumpkin producers hired the former cranberry salesman.


I would recommend Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter. No sure if you can get it outside of Arizona.
posted by Ommcc at 1:51 PM on October 16, 2012


oh my god it is seasonal cider time

brb returning to weekday drunks
posted by elizardbits at 1:51 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Back when I used to lurk on rec.crafts.brewing there was a fairly extensive thread about how it's basically impossible to add enough pumpkin to the wort to impart any noticeable real pumpkin flavoring to the resulting beer

I don't know what magic they used but the Schlafly pumpkin ale had a rich pumpkin flavor, light on the spices.
posted by Adamsmasher at 1:51 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


the takeaway was that pumpkin beers are pretty much all about the spices that make your brain think "Mmm! Pumpkin pie!"

There's actually a place in my neighborhood (Main Line Meetup ladies, you know who you are) that just tapped this:

CREATURE: ESB brewed with 70lbs local Sucrine du Berry squash. 5.1% Elegant Squash Bitter. NO SPICES WERE ADDED TO THIS BEER!


It is definitely a different beast.
posted by jetlagaddict at 1:55 PM on October 16, 2012


I was going to say that you can't make a jack-o'-latern out of bacon, but apparently you can.
posted by Kabanos at 1:55 PM on October 16, 2012


Look, I enjoy pumpkin pie a lot; it is easily my favourite dessert. I like pumpkin spice lattes. And I enjoy a nice pumpkin pie ale (one of the the local breweries in town uses real pumpkin mash in theirs). But pumpkin is not "the next bacon."
posted by asnider at 2:00 PM on October 16, 2012


The Afghan restaurant I used to go to had mini-pumpkins baked until tender, then filled with spiced beef. It is so good, and not "pumpkin-flavored" (the cinnamon/nutmeg combo we think of as "pumpkin-flavored") at all.
posted by xingcat at 2:02 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


A dense and stringy fruit, it needs the accompaniment of a lot of sugar and spices before it becomes particularly palatable.

So does bacon. Pork belly gets cured in salt, sugar, pepper and other spices for a few days, then smoked to become bacon. It's not as if it tastes like that without help.
posted by zarq at 2:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I started making a sweet pumpkin/apple curry modeled off some Japanese curries I've had over there and they've been hugely successful.

NB: The partner's well-behaved cat turns into a snarling devil kitty if not given her own small dish of the stuff, properly cooled, prior the humans eating. I think it's like when they give the full size cats pumpkins, it just kicks off some sort of crushing-skulls-on-the-veldt instinct.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 2:09 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Enough with the goddamn pumpkin ales already.
posted by VicNebulous at 2:14 PM on October 16, 2012


I sort of exceeded my limits on them a few years back anyway - great as a one off novelty, kind if regrettable when you purchase a case and have to drink through it.

I did encounter a nice pumpkin cider lately though.
posted by Artw at 2:16 PM on October 16, 2012


The Woodchuck Pumpkin Cider was not as exciting as it should have been (though the parking-ticket-orange label is pretty keen)

Oh, I liked it! It did have a slight undertone of Jolly Rancher that was sweeter than it needed to be, but I still enjoyed it. Apparently Harpoon has a version, too, but I ain't tried it yet.

oh my god it is seasonal cider time

I'm brewing a dry spruce cider now! Should be ready soon!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:16 PM on October 16, 2012



brb returning to weekday drunks

I like this place everything is fuzzy and pleasant where are my shoes?
posted by The Whelk at 2:17 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I made some incredible pumpkin bread this weekend. With walnuts and chocolate chunks. But we all know, no matter how amazing the pumpkin bread, it's highest purpose is as cream cheese frosting vehicle
posted by atomicstone at 2:18 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


I was going to say that you can't make a jack-o'-latern out of bacon, but apparently you can.

COOK IT! COOK IT WITH FIRE!

and then I'll down it, thanks.
posted by psoas at 2:19 PM on October 16, 2012


Pork belly gets cured in salt, sugar, pepper and other spices for a few days, then smoked to become bacon. It's not as if it tastes like that without help.

Sure, but pork belly is still pretty tasty even when not cured and turned into bacon. I'm not sure the same can be said for unspiced pumpkin pulp.
posted by asnider at 2:20 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, are we trading favorite pumpkin recipes?? You'll make this one over and over again: Afghan Sweet Pumpkin Curry with Garlic Yoghurt (Borani Kadu / Kadu Bouranee).

This recipe is as close as it gets to the phenomenal pumpkin-garlic-yogurt-tomato appetizer at the Cambridge, Mass Helmand restaurant... where the food and the service is authentically Afghan (in other words not the place for a hurried dinner, but they do leave you alone to talk over tea at the end of your meal.) Now living thousands of miles from the Helmand restaurant and the Helmand city, this is what I got.

The recipe is very forgiving: I do not have an oven so I steam the pumpkin. Here I have a hard time finding American-type pumpkins so I use other squash like potimarron (kuri squash?). But the yogurt sauce, you can make anytime for anything. If I am in a hurry I skip the other two parts of the dish and make the yogurt sauce to go on other stuff. Highly recommended!

You can thank me later, but really it all goes back to that restaurant.
posted by whatzit at 2:20 PM on October 16, 2012 [19 favorites]


Nothing makes me more aware of my Australian-ness when talking about food than pumpkins.

Pumpkins are for hacking up (my mother has seriously used an axe on some specimens), covering in oil, salt, pepper and maybe garlic, then roasting until the tips are blackened - skin on or off depending on personal preference and the breed of pumpkin. Then to be eaten with roast meat and other vegetables, or blended with hot stock and cream to make soup.

Sweetening it? My mother, queen of "let's try this American recipe I found" still hasn't make a real pumpkin pie. We're disconcerted by it coming in a can* and our palate just doesn't accept it as a sweet thing (pumpkin scones notwithstanding - it's more colouration and you only eat those with golden syrup/jam if you're a kid).

I haven't seen a pumpkin latte at Starbucks yet, but I'll keep an eye out. I assume the issue will be that nutmeg and other spices don't say 'pumpkin' here, but probably something more like 'spicy biscuits that grandma serves instead of good ones' (biscuits being the Australian kind, cookies for you pumpkin-sweetening Americans).

*Nothing approaches the full body reaction to the concept of cheese in a can and cheezwiz though.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Those spices are kind of "gingerbread" to me. And I'm with you on the pumpkin. My Canadian husband still looks at pumpkin with the whites of his eyes showing (and an Englishman I knew years ago would flatly refuse to eat it: "That's for cattle!"). I love pumpkin, but I don't believe I've ever eaten it sweetened, except possibly in curries, with a little palm sugar.
posted by thylacinthine at 2:24 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pumpkin Pie hadn't really made inroads into the UK when I left either - though if Starbucks is doing the Latte there maybe that's changed since 2006? Or maybe it'll be a completly inexplicable cultural artifact like McDonalds hashbrowns.
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on October 16, 2012


I'm okay to drink port once they start doing the red cups, right?
posted by Artw at 2:25 PM on October 16, 2012


Pumpkin is Coming.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:26 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


(It also reminds me that everytime I "cook" in Skyrim I come away wanting to make soups, even apple & cabbage)

Haha, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who gets that feeling!
posted by jake at 2:31 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


(It also reminds me that everytime I "cook" in Skyrim I come away wanting to make soups, even apple & cabbage)

I used to get that playing Sims Online - there was a cooking thing where you'd make apple butter or something, and some nights I could almost smell the apples and the spices.
posted by thylacinthine at 2:35 PM on October 16, 2012


The Great Pumpkin Is Coming!
posted by liza at 2:36 PM on October 16, 2012


...PUMPKIN PIE SPICE...

On a related note, that McCormick "pickling spice" blend stuff? Best white-guy fake-ass curry ever. Garlic, ginger, browned onions, something creamy or brothy, chuck in a tea ball full of "pickling spice" while it's simmering, fish it out when it's done.

I wouldn't call it Actual Indian Food (though I'm sure "mustard, cloves, nutmeg and bay leaves" is a valid recipe for something somewhere on that continent), but at least it beats the shit out of their alleged curry powder, which I swear is just half a ton of fenugreek plus whatever's on the floor at the end of the day.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:38 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I used to get that playing Sims Online

At some point last year I was making cookie batter, and my wife was watching, so I pantomimed the exact animation that the Sims (in Sims 3) make when they cook stuff, stirring while holding the bowl in the other arm, going "hmmm!" every few seconds, it took her a while to catch on and then she was like "words fail me, Jake" so I was like "Klabadoo weebop! Nay?"

Totally making butternut soup tonight YEAHHHHHH
posted by jake at 2:42 PM on October 16, 2012 [12 favorites]


Well? Which was the winner?

ummm.... beer?

After a careful review of empties in the recycle bin I think it was either Lakefront or Post Road
posted by rmless at 2:43 PM on October 16, 2012


Which was the winner?

I held a pumpkin beer tasting (the one described in the man of twists and turns' link upthread) and the highest-rated beers were Southern Tier, Shipyard, DC Brau/Epic (which was actually from last year. This year DC Brau's end of things didn't work out, but apparently Epic has a good one), and Fisherman's Imperial.

The lowest rated were Blue Moon (undrinkable) and Kennebunkport (cinnamon fireballs).
posted by troika at 3:02 PM on October 16, 2012


Kennebunkport (cinnamon fireballs)

PUMPKIN BEER OR BIZARRE SEX ACT: YOU DECIDE



I REGRET NOTHING
posted by elizardbits at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2012 [6 favorites]


The reason that pumpkin beers are actually pumpkin pie spice beers is because pumpkin starch turns into pure sugar when cooked which then turns into alcohol when fermented, leaving little flavor. Those with significant pumpkin flavor probably have flavor added post-fermentation.
posted by goethean at 3:13 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I recall correctly, I'm not sure Australia's pumpkin is the same thing as North America's pumpkin... For example, halfway down this blog entry, what the anecdotal Australian was referring to as pumpkin was what we would call butternut squash here in the states. And the pumpkins pictured here are definitely a different breed than we usually carve or pie in the states. Burpee seems to sell seeds to something called Jarrahdale pumpkins that they say come from New Zealand. I found reference to a Queensland Blue being imported from Australia as well. I don't know much about either.

There are two kinds of pumpkins commonly found this time of year in supermarkets (at least here in the Northeastern US). Jack O'Lanterns come from something like these carving pumpkins which are quite large and have a thin "shell". The seeds are nice roasted, but the flesh isn't very good for eating itself. Pie and other sweets usually come from these sugar pumpkins. The flesh is pretty good simply roasted. There are, of course, other types of pumpkin, some decorative, some good for eating, that can be found at farmers' markets and such. On top of that, there are a host of other winter squash that are more likely to be used in savory recipes - acorn, butternut, hubbard, kabocha, spaghetti, and delicata can all be found at a not-fancy grocery store chain I often go to. They all have their strengths and flavors, but are close to interchangable in most recipes.
posted by maryr at 3:15 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


My favorite pumpkin soup, as taught to me in France, for two people:

Add ingredients together and cook in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes max, or until it smells good: pumpkin (don't know exact quantity- half a medium size pot), two potatoes, half an onion, ginger to taste, half an apple, salt, pepper, water. Blend. Add lots of creme fraiche. Delicious.
posted by three_red_balloons at 3:45 PM on October 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Next up, the resurgence of the lowly sugar beet.
posted by beagle at 3:46 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australia and associated places use "pumpkin" to refer to anything an American would call "winter squash". Jarrahdale and Queensland Blues are both pumpkins in the "winter squash" sense.
posted by zamboni at 3:48 PM on October 16, 2012


pumpkin and bacon risotto sounds amazing.

Know what sounds even more amazing? Pumpkin, bacon, and mushroom risotto.

Because all risottos are improved by mushrooms.

Corollary: Mushroom risottos are improved by more mushrooms.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:52 PM on October 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


/will also accept butternut squash as tasty curry ingredient.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on October 16, 2012


Pumpkin sliced thin and stirfried with black beans is seriously tasty stuff.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 4:21 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Were you all in my kitchen lately? On Sunday night, I roasted a small pumpkin, steamed green beans, cooked three slices of bacon, and then threw it all together. It was so good, even my vegetable-neutral BF had seconds.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:29 PM on October 16, 2012


troika: "Rogue makes a Voodoo Donut maple bacon ale."

It's a hangover and the remedy all in one, kinda like those shampoo and conditioner bottles!

Love me some Pumpkin Ale. Both the spice style and the more...vegetal. Our local big microbrew made a Pumpkin Stout this year...FanTAStic.
posted by notsnot at 4:37 PM on October 16, 2012


Adamsmasher: "I don't know what magic they used but the Schlafly pumpkin ale had a rich pumpkin flavor, light on the spices."

As I mentioned above, imagine it as a rich, cask-conditioned Stout.
posted by notsnot at 4:45 PM on October 16, 2012


Yeah, as maryr says, I don't really get the whole "sweet pumpkin" thing. As a kid in New Zealand, pumpkin was for soup and for roasting with meat. Nowadays I also eat it grilled on the BBQ, pureed with parmesan and basil over pasta, and in curry.

I had pumpkin pie for the first time a couple of years back when a visiting American came for Christmas dinner and made one. It was... odd. The bacon parallel is quite clear to me - eating sweetened pumpkin is kind of like the sweet bacon foods people have been doing in recent years (bacon cupcakes, caramelised bacon strips with brown sugar, bacon and maple syrup on pancakes). It kind of tastes good, but you have to do a lot of mental work to get your head around the fact you are eating this savory food as a dessert.
posted by lollusc at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Spoiler alert: the actual taste of pumpkin is stringy, orange water.
posted by threeants at 4:54 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Evil dirty self-link: Pumpkin cheesecake recipe

Also, for those not averse to a cholesterol-fest: Pumpkin packed with bread and cheese

For risotto combinations, my choice would be pumpkin, bacon and goat cheese with rosemary and sage. Right at the end, maybe a few black olives. Scatter roasted pumpkin seeds on top for great justice.
posted by Pallas Athena at 5:10 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hugh Thingy-Hyphenated did a delicious looking pumpkin thing a few years back, he took little tiny what-we-would-call-bush-pumpkins, cut off the top, pulled out the innards, and refilled with cream, grated cheese and possibly some nutmeg, and stuck them into the oven to roast.
posted by thylacinthine at 5:18 PM on October 16, 2012


troika: "goethean: bacon latte.

Rogue makes a Voodoo Donut maple bacon ale. The bacon is waaaay to overpowering, though. Very upset when I realized it was barely donut.
"

Ah, but Voodoo Donuts makes a Bacon Maple bar that's to die for.
posted by jgaiser at 5:33 PM on October 16, 2012


dude pumpkin is so NOT the new bacon
posted by Tom-B at 6:06 PM on October 16, 2012


The "Everything Must Be Pumpkin" at Trader Joe's this year is getting a bit out there. The newest addition is pumpkin-flavoured dog treats.
posted by pie ninja at 7:38 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, right, and parsnips are the new eggs. Honestly.
posted by Decani at 2:09 AM on October 17, 2012


My husband is a pumpkin-lover, so I was reading all of the Trader Joe's offerings to him when we got the Fearless Flyer. At the end , he told me I was coming close to the scene in Forrest Gump where Bubba describes what can be done with shrimp.
posted by Fig at 5:28 AM on October 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


pie ninja: The newest addition is pumpkin-flavoured dog treats.

My parents go through cases and cases of canned pumpkin on account of their dogs - the dogs get a scoop of it on top of their dry food every evening. Apparently, it discourages them (the dogs, not my parents) from eating their own poo. (My parents have no interest in eating poo and do not require supplemental pumpkin to that effect.)
posted by maryr at 6:12 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I DON'T UNDERSTAND THIS PUMPKIN 'SPICE' BUSINESS PUMPKIN GOES WITH BUTTER AND SAGE.
posted by Acheman at 6:43 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


That said I have been thinking of making pumpkin cakes with caramelised apples and goat's cheese icing.
posted by Acheman at 6:45 AM on October 17, 2012


At least in Brooklyn, it seems that nduja is the new bacon, or at least the new chorizo.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:17 AM on October 17, 2012


notsnot: Our local big microbrew made a Pumpkin Stout this year...FanTAStic.

I don't like pumpkin beer but that sounds pretty damn good.
posted by goethean at 7:20 AM on October 17, 2012


Pumpkin cheesecake recipe

Pointless. Cheesecake is already cheescake.

You kids.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:21 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just ate pumpkin cream cheese for breakfast. With a spoon. I mean, it's basically yogurt, right?
posted by stoneweaver at 8:16 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


A friend was talking about the proliferation of pumpkin things in the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. I happened to have a flyer at work so I counted: TWENTY-THREE different pumpkin items (plus 1 butternut squash item.)
posted by vespabelle at 10:05 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I despise pumpkin ales, but Upslope made a small batch of them this year and it was good.
Not spicy and you can taste the pumpkin.
posted by Seamus at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2012


Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Had one in San Francisco twenty years ago, then last year got some pumpkin bread mix and decided to throw in a bag of chocolate chips. People raved about them. This year, I'm going to make my bread from scratch (although I'm using puree, sue me).
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:03 PM on October 17, 2012


Made the butternut squash gratin for dinner. Threw in some spinach and garlic. Ate enough to feel a little sick. Regret nothing. Next time I will add green chile and mushrooms. Thank you for the delicious noms!
posted by stoneweaver at 7:50 PM on October 17, 2012


I used to think I disliked pumpkin until I discovered it divorced from the sweet, sugary, gingerbread-spiced version I grew up with. Give me pumpkin ravioli with brown butter and sage, or curried pumpkin soup, over pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake any day. (Though I do agree with atomicstone that pumpkin bread and its ilk are great excuses for cream cheese frosting.)

The pumpkin stuffed with bread and cheese mentioned upthread has become an Autumn tradition in my household. The tradition is thus: I make enough for me and my partner. He looks at it funny, takes a bite to be a good sport, and refuses the rest. Then I have a bunch of delicious stuffed pumpkins all to myself!

And anyway, isn't canned pumpkin not actually pumpkin?
posted by rhiannonstone at 9:38 PM on October 17, 2012


Afghan Sweet Pumpkin Curry with Garlic Yoghurt (Borani Kadu / Kadu Bouranee).

So I made this last night. It was pretty good, but please be warned that it is very sweet (the 1/2 cup of sugar should have tipped me off). The yogurt does cut the sweetness, though. It also appears to be really salty in the recipe (1/2 Tbsp in both the tomato sauce and yogurt sauce!), but because I was afraid of ruining the dish I cut those numbers by 2/3rds and used 1/2 tsp.

I think if I made this again I'd use 1 or 2 acorn squashes instead of pumpkin. They have a similar texture and sweetness, but they're easier to find outside of early fall, and would be easier to prepare. This may be me misunderstanding the recipe, but you have to peel the raw pumpkin, and that isn't easy. Every other time I've made pumpkin I've roasted it in the oven with the skin on, and then once it's out of the oven, the skin comes right off. Other squashes would be easier to peel raw.

Finally, what does this mean: "I baked mine in an oven as stove top was cooking them unevenly."? The recipe says to fry, then bake. Is she just saying that a traditional recipe does not involve baking?
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:32 AM on October 18, 2012


If you you like the spices of pumpkin pie but aren't keen in the texture or flavor of the pumpkin itself, just make sweet potato pie. Very similar flavor.

And of course there's always bean pie.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:43 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pumpkin-Ginger Bundt Cakes With Browned Butter Glaze
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:13 AM on October 20, 2012


Smitten Kitchen: Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:37 AM on October 20, 2012


5 Healthy Pumpkin Recipies From Around The Web
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:04 PM on October 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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