Remembering the original pumpkin spice

As the leaves turn colour and the streets fill with fall clothing, one thing remains in the back of my mind — pumpkin spice season has arrived.

Pumpkin spice season, once known as fall in days past, is the time of the year when we know summer is over and the inevitable cold season begins to sneak in.

We warm up our souls with wholesome family gatherings and prepare ourselves for the comfort food season after a massive Thanksgiving dinner.

Local haunts carry their twist of pumpkin spice delicacies, all while the original pumpkin spice king, the granddaddy of the spinoffs, is left forgotten — today, we will remember the once loved and always overindulged pumpkin pie.

Pumpkin pie has long been a staple dessert for Thanksgiving dinners and holiday seasons.

A classic symbol of the holidays, pumpkin pie has always shed a bit of warming joy as the Canadian winter looms in the distance.

The mighty pumpkin was once a sign of the harvest, but as a city kid stereotypically caught in the almighty web of popular culture and knowing nothing of farming, I really only relate the season to pumpkin spice.

The core of what makes a pumpkin pie so good is the pumpkin spice: that insurmountable blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and allspice. The pie is served with a generous amount of whipped cream or ice cream, adding creaminess to the sharp but sweet comfort food.

I have seen first-hand the pumpkin pie become a victim of consumerism — being mimicked in many forms and forgotten to what’s new.

I have to admit my family is guilty of the crumbling of the legacy of pumpkin pie.

Years ago, my mother substituted pumpkin pie with sweet potato pie with a pinch of pumpkin spice as a healthy alternative to the holidays’ already high-caloric meals.

I have always said that calories don’t count during the holidays, and I restate this claim with vigour in 2020.

Sweet potato pie joins the long list of just another imitator of pumpkin pie.

But the latte is the guiltiest in trying to imitate its glory.

The now oh-so-popular pumpkin spice is mainly made famous by coffee chains having pumpkin spice lattes, a wannabe pumpkin pie in a mug.

I can understand the appeal with all the spice and creaminess of a pumpkin pie in a to-go cup.

Pumpkin pie has also been mimicked in the land of adult beverages with pumpkin ales and even wines.

Ice cream, what once was a lovely addition to pumpkin pie, has skipped the pie and now has its pumpkin spice flavouring — the ultimate betrayal.

As I walked through the aisles of my local supermarket, the aisles are lined with pumpkin pie wannabes — all culprits to the potential death of the forgotten king of seasonal desserts.

Pumpkin spice cookies, hot drinks and ice cream are all products I could potentially accept with time, but recently, the newest and possibly worst offender of them all struck a blow too harsh to forgive, Kraft Dinner.

Kraft Heinz Canada describes its newest addition as a “spicy, cheesy treat,” which will include a cinnamon spice topping.

I consider myself a Kraft Dinner connoisseur of sorts. I can make a mean Kraft Dinner, but never in my life have I imagined or desired a pumpkin spiced cheesy noodle such as this.

It is a mockery to the king of holiday desserts.

Pumpkin pie was never cheesy, nor should it be.

And it has never had noodles. Again, nor should it.

Kraft Dinner and pumpkin pie don’t mix.

The abomination of pumpkin spice Kraft Dinner is the final blow to pumpkin pie — how could it recover from such a betrayal of its original flavour?

Pumpkin pie was once a constant, the dessert that was the fall cherry on top of overindulgent meals.

The pumpkin pie was the thing to look forward to at dreaded holiday dinners where family politics are at all-time highs.

The pumpkin pie became the peacekeeper.

It would silence everyone at the end of the meal with its decadent deliciousness.

This article will be published after Thanksgiving Day in Canada, so I hope you didn’t forget pumpkin pie at your meal.

If the great dessert didn’t make it in your dinner, don’t fret.

You will have many more opportunities in the coming months.

It’s easy to forget when there are so many options.

Still, the originals are better than the imitations, just like so many things in this world.

As we go into the holiday season, remember to bring the pumpkin spice’s best into your homes, the humble pumpkin pie.

It will warm your heart and soul, while a piece will keep the peace in your home.