Episode 67: Pumpkins

Monday, October 30, 2017
On this week's episode and on the eve of Halloween, we explore the origin of the pumpkin, from how they were used by the Native Americans to crazy folklore of the Jack-O-Lantern, from Libby's canned pumpkin puree and lastly to how Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte took the world by storm. We then help a Food Fight listener (aka Sharon) deal with making a Red Velvet Cake for an upcoming birthday.

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Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Sharon, of course, had ribs smoked on the Big Green Egg, but talked extensively about the Taco Mac dinner that was a hit. Winter ALSO had ribs (charsiu type) on the Big Green Egg, but had a 3-ingredient dinner made by the Instant Pot: Chicken thighs (with bone and skin), 1 chopped onion, and a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. You can even get a bluetooth Instant Pot!
  • Pumpkins are considered a winter squash, and are a fruit botanically speaking. Native Americans planted pumpkin with corn and beans as the "Three Sisters." They also dried out pumpkin, which kept for years! 
  • Colonial Americans noticed how popular pumpkins were and it became quite the fad to find different ways to incorporate them into their food and dry it out like the Native Americans.
  • Sharon painted her pumpkins this year and Winter melted crayons on her pumpkin with a heat gun, but one should traditionally carve a Jack-O-Lantern, because of Stingy Jack.
  • Fastest pumpkin carver!

  • Morton, Illinois is considered the pumpkin capitol of the world. Libby's Pumpkin Puree comes from a proprietary strain of pumpkin, which is called a Dickinson squash. There was a shortage on pureed pumpkin in 2009 and 2015, because of too many storms which soaked the fields.
  • Starbuck's international hit, the Pumpkin Spice Latte (#PSL), came out in 2003 because there was nothing on the market with pumpkin. It almost didn't happen though! The combination of pumpkin spice made it a hit.
  • Because of this woman's complaining that the PSL didn't actually have pumpkin in it, Starbuck's started putting pumpkin into the drink in 2015. More than 2 million were sold! (We still think the trend needs to go away!)

  • Tori Avey wrote about how the Colonial Americans had the original pumpkin drink.
  • Sharon has a Food Fight question for us to discuss, whether she should make a red velvet cake (she's against it) for Ike's son's birthday (she's not opposed to making a cake for him).  Sharon can try one that has beet in it to make it red, but here is one and another one that might work.
  • Have you followed us on Facebook yet? Do it! We'd love you to join us!

Run Time: 50 minutes

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