Fall is in the air! It’s a favored season by many with the cooler weather and colorful fall leaves. It is also a time for favorite seasonings!
The first thing my mother wants to know when the weather starts changing is when she can get a Pumpkin Spice Latte!! Well, it’s not all “pumpkin and spice” anymore. And, some of these flavors don’t just pertain to fall or even to coffee for that matter. There are quite a few others to consider, such as apple, caramel, cranberry, fig, maple, hazelnut, and pecan. Top any one of these off with some salty pretzels, savory bacon and/or robust spices like cinnamon, rosemary or nutmeg, and well… your senses will be screaming fall! These flavors are showing up in milkshakes, craft cocktails, smoothies, desserts, pancakes, and so much more!
Why do we crave all of these flavors? Some say it’s your brain’s way of coping and bracing for the upcoming cooler season ahead. Scarcity creates demand since many of these flavors are only experienced during the fall season. According to perception researchers at Johns Hopkins University, it’s the powerful scent. The smell of autumn flavors often trigger familiar and cozy memories creating a national nostalgia and increased desire to reunite with the upcoming season. The smell of pumpkin reminds us of Thanksgiving. Scientists say that our sense of taste actually starts with our sense of smell. The parts of the brain that process odor are very close to the parts of the brain that process memory information. We are drawn to pumpkin-flavored items and other similarly nostalgic products because they remind us of moments in our lives that make us happy and bring us comfort, says Dr. Zishan Khan, a psychiatrist with Mindpath Health. Whatever it is, it’s amazing, it tantalizes my senses and it is GOOD!
Here are a few seasonal favorites and the establishments that provide them…
- You can get a pumpkin spice latte or pumpkin coffee at 7-11.
- Bob Evans Restaurants has a caramel apple breakfast menu to put a twist on their classics.
- Caribou Coffee offers 15 different beverages from their extensive pumpkin spice menu!
- If you love ice cream, Culvers offers a pumpkin pecan fresh frozen custard, Salted Caramel Pumpkin Concrete Mixer, and a Pumpkin Spice Shake. Oh my!
- Dairy Queen has a Blizzard menu featuring Pumpkin Pie and Snickerdoodle, and several others.
- Dunkin’ Donuts partnered with actor Ben Affleck and rapper Ice Spice for their new Ice Spice Munchkins drink. They merge frozen Dunkin’ coffee with Munchkins pumpkin-cake donut holes, and top it off with whipped cream and a dribble of caramel.
- Wendy’s has a Pumpkin Spice Frosty and a Cream Cold Brew with the same flavors.
- Starbucks introduced the world to pumpkin spice latte two decades ago! Some say that fall doesn’t start till they have the first sip of this famous and limited latte. Of course, Starbucks also offers so many more fall flavors like Iced Apple Crisp Oat Milk Shaken Espresso. That’s a mouth full!
Whatever your fall pleasure, I hope you enjoy it! “Go big or gourd home!”