Things I am relearning about Canada #57: people love pumpkins.
How do I know? Fruit stands around Toronto have been chock-full of small, medium and large pumpkins since late September. Mill Street Brewery is selling “Nightmare on Mill St” which by reports is spicy but not very pumpkinny. Finally, every coffee joint in town is encouraging everyone to sample their pumpkin coffees.
Pumpkin coffees? It’s serious business. People are a bit TOOOOO crazy about this drink, if you go by the Starbucks blog comments. Although this isn’t supposed to be one of my rants on the evils of unhealthy food, do you think the people asking the Bucks for a sugar-free version are a little misguided about the usefulness of that option, given the fact each Pumpkin Latte gives you 40% of your daily fat allowance? I digress…
Greeks have a word for pumpkins: kolokithi. Kolo means ass. Kolokithi means ass-a-ma-jig. If someone is talking “kolokithia”, it means they’re talking nonsense. If something tastes like “kolokithi”, it means it doesn’t taste like anything.
I have news for all you pumpkin lovers: pumpkins don’t taste like anything. Pumpkin pies taste like nutmeg and cinnamon and butter. Pumpkin beer tastes like nutmeg and cinnamon and beer. And Pumpkin Lattes taste like nutmeg and cinnamon and coffee and whipped cream and heavy syrup.
Pumpkin Lattes look like this when you start them:
And they look like this when you finish:
Pumpkins are kolokithia! They taste like nothing.
From a brand perspective, they look beautiful, and they represent a seasonal change which is much more pronounced in far Northern climes such as Toronto’s. They’re part of Canadian Thanksgiving, and obviously a big part of Halloween.
Pumpkins don’t taste like anything, but they remind people of that cool autumnal feeling: when the sun feels warm but the air is cold, when the sky looks big but the light is dying out, and when you have to appreciate walking into the warmth of your home.
Speaking of which, I bought a house today. It will feature pumpkins every October. And it will smell like nutmeg and cinnamon.