Canned pumpkin is not something about which you normally give two hoots for nine months out of the year. But, boy howdy, around September or October, depending when temperatures where you live drop below 60 degrees…watch out!
Pumpkin is EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING.
We want it in our PSLs (pumpkin spice lattes), our pies, our yogurt, our waffles, muffins, loafs, family portraits…it’s what we live for.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers” – Anne of Green Gables
But there is something sinister about canned pumpkin that may change the way you look at your favorite gourd forever.
Light your favorite pumpkin candle and have a seat…
Here it is: Canned pumpkin is really squash.
The label says, “one hundred percent pure pumpkin,” but the USDA says pumpkin and squash = potato, potahto. In other words, squash is a gourd, pumpkin is a gourd, gourds are all gourds, ergo, call it pumpkin.
Would it sell as well if the label said, “one hundred percent a mix of winter squashes, such as butternut and the like”?
Would you put that in your PSL? Think about it.
Though it does turn out there is a good reason for pumpkin executives to concoct such a bald-faced lie.
Pumpkin really doesn’t stand up to our standard of the creamy, ‘pumpkin-y’ goodness we consumers demand starting 24 hours after Labor Day.
A regular pumpkin-patch pumpkin is stringy, watery and doesn’t actually taste like what we want. Libby’s, the main player in the canned pumpkin game, has even developed their own variety of winter squash they grow on secret canned pumpkin farms to fill their “one hundred percent pure” canned pumpkin.
That’s probably the trademarked name of their squash: One Hundred Percent Pure.
Supervisor: Hey, Ralph. How’s the crop of One Hundred Percent Pure looking?
Ralph: Hi boss. Thanks for asking. The One Hundred Percent Pure will be a bumper crop this year.
Supervisor, twirling his mustache: Splendid.
Look, the season isn’t completely ruined, but we as consumers have the right to know what’s spicing our lattes. It’s deception, one hundred percent pure and simple.
Well…we’ll always have nutmeg.