The great pumpkin spice debate

Elizabeth Sims
Staff Writer

It is the most wonderful time of the year. And by that, I mean it is time for pumpkin spice to be everywhere. From traditional pumpkin pie and pumpkin spiced latte, to the crazier pumpkin bagels and pumpkin ravioli, we have finally gotten to that time of the year where we are greeted by the warm caress of that delicious fall scent every time we go inside.
And the best part is that it will never get old because it is only here for October and Thanksgiving. After that, it is all peppermint and pine needles until the spring—and who knows how long that will take to come with Virginia’s notoriously fickle climate.
I have caught quite a few people griping about how pumpkin spice is overrated and gross. Well, I am here to tell you that so is Axe Body Spray and cigarette smoke, but I still have to smell that everywhere I go and that lasts all year around. Cut us fall fanatics some slack. It is only two months out of the year—you will be okay.
It is like me saying, “Oh since I don’t eat pork, I shouldn’t have to smell it when I go into the dining hall.” No. It does not work like that. Toughen up, your highness. We all have to deal with things we do not like in life and for you pumpkin spice haters, I think you can sweat it out for a month or two. Or wear a nose plug.
In fact, not only do pumpkin spiced things smell and taste beyond amazing, but they are good for you as well. Pumpkin is a great source of beta-carotene, fiber and vitamins B, C and E. Is that not good enough for you? One of the key ingredients in pumpkin spice is cinnamon, often considered a supplement to increase one’s sex drive. I bet Starbucks is looking pretty good right now.
What is another great thing about this luxurious spice? It brings people together. Every year, between Halloween and Thanksgiving, I have my annual Fall Bash; a time when everyone can come together for food, movies and of course, homemade pumpkin hot chocolate. That is what most people look forward to. When you smell that pumpkin smell cooking in the oven or bubbling over the stove, you instantly want to fish out your winter scarves, grab a blanket and cuddle with a cute person next to a roaring fire. To me, that is fall in a chestnut shell, and I don’t really think you can argue with a picture all fall focused as that.
So, are you one of the few who hate the smell and taste and feel of fall? Then I have some tips for you. First, get over it. Your fluffed up summer feathers will be smoothed down in about six months and you can get back to smelling beach waves and playing in the sand or whatever it is you do. Second, just do not go to a coffee house or candle shop. You will smell pumpkin. It is pretty much Murphy’s law of fall. Lastly, turn a blind eye. Those of us that do not really care about spring or summer do not get annoyed at seeing Easter gifts in February or everyone eating Mexican food on Cinco de Mayo. It is just a part of the market-driven society we live in.
But if you are like me and you love anything pumpkin, then turn the other cheek to negative things people say. While you are at it, grab a mug of hot pumpkin cider and sip on the taste of fall that everyone else is missing out on since they are too busy complaining.