It feels like Fall; a little nip in the air in the mornings, wisps of mist, kids jumping in small piles of leaves, pumpkin displays at the grocery store. There is also another marker of Fall, a relatively new one: Starbucks starts offering the Pumpkin Spice Latte! And apparently, some people are so devoted to it that a shortage has created much misery and this news made it to the front page of The Wall Street Journal.Some might wonder what all the fuss is about, it’s only a drink, just coffee with a different sounding name.
Also, the fact that this celebration of a seasonal flavor basically comes from a prepared syrup added to the drink in the store (there is also an instant version) made me think how complex is our relationship to food: we get all worked up about a flavor of syrup while many of us would most likely feel lost if faced with an actual pumpkin. Most of our dealings with that big orange vegetable are limited to carving out a monster face and, perhaps, toasting the seeds. Yet it comforts us to think that somewhere there is a patch of earth awash in very orange pumpkins glowing in the autumn sun….and we want to capture that feeling in our morning drink. So, no, a coffee by any other name would not be just as good!