The pumpkin spice phenomenon

Let people love it!

The first hint of pumpkin spice in the air is sure to bring one of two opinions: delight or annoyance. But in a world where bad news is constant, I wonder what the harm is in letting people enjoy their guilty pleasures, even if you think it’s a little too early for a pumpkin spice latte.

As August came to an end, memes began popping up on social media lobbying against early signs of fall. One meme exclaimed, “Summer isn’t over until Sept. 22, so, sit your pumpkin spice asses down! I’m not finished with my margarita yet!” It had 34,000 shares on Facebook.

While I am shocked every September when I see the Christmas trimmings appear in stores, I’m not opposed to the pumpkin spice phenomenon. I think finding something that makes you happy is great, no matter the season. 

Halifax lattes to lagers and beyond

Halifax isn’t immune to the pumpkin spice fanaticism. Even the Downtown Halifax Business Commission has jumped on board with a list of local pumpkin spice hot spots. The full list can be found at downtownhalifax.ca/pumpkinspice. As the list demonstrates, lattes aren’t the only way to get your nutmeg fix this fall. 

Propeller Brewery, the oldest microbrewery in Nova Scotia offers a pumpkin ale through October until supplies run dry. 

Breton Brewing, based out of Cape Breton also released their Spiced Up Pumpkin Ale on Aug. 30. 

Cheesecakery, Sweet Hereafter on Quinpool Road, offers a custom order pumpkin spice latte cheesecake.

As the official fall season nears, there are sure to be other local businesses with pumpkin on the menu as well. 

What’s the deal with pumpkin spice?

While fall doesn’t officially begin until Sept. 22, Starbucks released their beloved signature pumpkin spice latte on Aug. 24. This makes me wonder, what is it that makes the beverage so darn lovable?

According to a report by CNN Health that examined why people crave pumpkin spice, the spicy ingredients conjure feelings of nostalgia. 

Common ingredients in pumpkin spice include ground ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. These are scents and tastes which remind us of special times, sweet flavours and comfort. They are often associated with holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

There’s also the chemical makeup of a pumpkin spice latte to consider. At Starbucks, a grande, or large, pumpkin spice latte includes nine grams of saturated fat, 50 grams of sugar and 230 milligrams of salt. This gives a standard pumpkin spice latte all the makings of a dessert in a cup, combining ingredients North Americans crave

Let them eat cake or drink latte

I’ve never been much of a summer person. I love camping, beach days and barbecues as much as the next, but I’ll take sweater weather over sweaty weather any day. 

Despite my personal feelings about summer, I see the joy it brings people and I’m happy for them. Why can’t we get excited over a cup of fall themed steamed milk without having to defend our choices? 

I say to each their own. What’s the harm in inviting a little nutmeg into our lives before October? Besides, I’m more of a gingerbread latte gal myself anyway.

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