We tend to go through a bit of coffee.
October, over the last few years, has brought on an inundation of an all new coffee phenomenon. The pumpkin spice latte.
Now, my nose isn't all that sensitive. You'd think from the size of it, I could smell like a dog. That's to be able to smell as well as a dog can, not smell like the dog does, because I know there are days I come home from doing what I do, stinking worse than the dog. I believe my olfactory senses have been somewhat dulled by a perpetual onslaught of a combination of agricultural chemicals and cow shit.
I can smell some, but not great. I've been tricked more than once, coming home to a house filled with the delightful aroma of what I'm certain is fresh baked cinnamon buns, only to discover an apple/nut/cinnamon scented candle burning. So, there is the association with smells connected to certain things in my memory.
Pumpkin spice. It sounds wonderful. Like something you want to eat, but when I hear those words, I can feel my synapses trying, but firing off blankly in my head. I want to associate it with something. I remember my childhood, and from carving pumpkins with my kids, the damp musty smell of pumpkin guts in a bucket beside the table. That's not it. I remember leaving the Jack-O-Lanterns my kids carved, sitting out a little too long because of their attachments to things created from their own hands, and having to scoop it off the side walk with a shovel because it had begun to liquefy. That's not it either.
Usually I end up settling on pie.
I don't do much baking. In fact, I don't really do any baking. But I have a suspicion that pumpkin pie is less about the pumpkin, and more about the elegant mix of spices and flavourings added to it. My Grandmother was a prolific vegetable grower, and coming from a time when you used every damned thing you could produce, she would trick me into eating cakes made from zucchini or beets, that I had no idea were vegetable based products. Until she told me, which I'm certain she got some sort of perverse pleasure from.
Anyways, it's my suspicion that the pumpkin is like a blank canvas that conforms to whatever concoction of flavourings that you blend with it. And because it's the season of harvest and Halloween, and sitting wrapped up in a warm cozy blanket, reminiscing over the past summer, while you sip a warm beverage consisting of roasted beans, the major producers of coffee-to-go, have seen fit to play upon our nostalgic memories to sell more product. I've tried those beverages from two of those coffee-to-go companies, and have been left...........wanting. Not to mention feeling somewhat misled by the advertising with pumpkins all over them, when they should probably have nutmeg and allspice and some other thing I can't put my finger on, rather than pumpkins.
I can't really blame them, even though I didn't care for either pumpkin spice latte. They're advertising did, in fact, seduce me into buying their seasonal products, on two separate occasions. So they're moving a lot of coffee, to people who normally wouldn't spring for something like that. Plus, I'm certain there was fevered debate by a bunch of suits in a boardroom somewhere, whether or not to go with the pumpkin spice latte, or the roasted turkey, mashed potato and gravy cappuccino. I think they probably made the right choice.
............that being said, if I could come up with a coffee flavouring to make you subconsciously reminisce for colourful wrapping paper and bows, and decorated evergreens before Christmas, I could make a million.