Hey you! Don't eat that, eat this!

Every year, around late September or early October, pumpkin season starts. When I was a kid, there wasn't much pumpkin flavored foods... pie and bread were really about it.
Then at some point a few years back, somebody realized that pumpkin is a flavor that can be used for all sorts of wacky treats! This blog is primarily about those pumpkin items.
Typically, if it's pumpkin flavored, I will try it. If it has pumpkin in the name, there is a strong chance I will try it. The weirder, the more fun.
In order for this to not be a September - December only blog, I'll also highlight other weird foods (typically prepackaged, mass produced stuff) as well. There will also be a healthy dose of beer reviews.
Wanna suggest something? EMAIL Fido!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pumpkin Creme Cake

Another exciting Walmart find. This one was the opposite of the Pumpkin Pie though. I thought this one would be pretty good, but it was just kinda blah.
While it has "creme" and "cake" in the name, it tastes more like an average, if dry, pumpkin bread. It also doesn't have much staying power as mold began appearing after a few days. No real loss.
This also comes in a bundt cake form with some sort of weird frosting drizzle on it.

Nothing special.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie

While wandering around a Walmart Neighborhood Market looking for a few other items, I ran across this "Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie" in the bakery area. It appears to be a Walmart exclusive. The box is oddly interesting enough to attract my attention, what with its quaint pie maker and his horse & carriage.
It's a palm sized pie in a tinfoil pan inside. I was really wary of this one. One, because it's nutritional value is atrocious (the pie is one serving: 370 calories, 19g of fat, although it did have 5 grams of fiber), two, because it's from Walmart, and three, because it cost like 69 cents. However, I was pleasantly surprised.
The crust, while maybe a tad too thick, is a great pastry crust in the grand tradition of one of those Hostess fruit pies. The filling was good too. According to the box, it's actually made from pumpkin, which is a plus. It did have a bit too much spice and there was a strong hint of citrus in the almost curd-like filling, but overall, this was a pretty decent cheap pumpkin snack. I wouldn't go out of my way for it and I won't eat another one because it's pretty much considered a meal on my diet, but I don't regret eating the one.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nuovo Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli

Pumpkin & pasta... two of my favorites. It's Nuovo's Pumpkin & Sage Ravioli. Nuovo makes high quality specialty pastas and deals with foodservice a lot.

I was a little nervous about this, seeing as how my only other pumpkin & pasta experience was that terrible pumpkin gnocchi.
However, this turned out to be a much better than I thought.

It's a pretty simple meal. Each package has two generous portions and it takes about 10 minutes or so to boil. It works well with a creamy sauce, like Alfredo.

The ravioli itself actually tastes like... well... like a ricotta enhanced pumpkin pie. The pasta is tender with a strong pumpkin flavor. I'm not a big ricotta fan, to be honest, but it's not overpowering and adds a little sandy-like texture that is pleasant enough.

Found this at Central Market. The first time I found it was back in July so I think this may be a non-seasonal item.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Whataburger Fried Pumpkin Pie - 2008 edition

Tried it again. I think it was worse than last year. Still doesn't taste like pumpkin. In fact, this one kinda tasted like a burned snickerdoodle.

Not worth the effort (or the calories)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pumpkin Tart (not mass produced)

The favorite restaurant of Mr. & Mrs. Fido L. Pumpkinboy is a little French Restaurant called Saint Emilion in Fort Worth. We try and visit at least a couple of times a year. The service and atmosphere are wonderful and the food is fantastic.
We went last Saturday to celebrate our anniversary. They make a fabulous pesto gnocchi and were surprised by how good the New England Skate Wing (as in one of those ray-fish things) tasted.
The best part was when they told us the desserts. Normally I get a Brandy Alexander, but tonight, they had a pumpkin tart. And since I was eager to forget the Archer Farms Pumpkin Tart from last year, this was an easy decision.

The tart came out on a plate covered in a light raspberry glaze. At first, I wasn't sure the raspberry glaze was needed or even wanted, but it really added to the dessert. The crust was light, not to thick, and practically melted away in your mouth. The tart was a bit tart, but not very much, and it was a very creamy pumpkin flavor with a strong yet not-overpowering pumpkin spice flavor. The raspberry glaze really did enhance the entire thing as did the rich whipped cream. This cream, I'm sure, was made from scratch in the kitchen and did not come out of a spray bottle or plastic tub. I can honestly say that this tart tasted better and better with each successive bite.

Fabulous! 5 out of 5 pumpkins.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate

Another Central Market find, this is Bissinger's Pumpkin Bark - Milk Chocolate Swirled with Real Pumpkin. All Natural no less.

It's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. It tastes like chocolate, it tastes like pumpkin... all swirled together. Verrry Tasty! It's not perfect though... it has this odd aroma and initial flavor, kinda chalky. But it's not bad and the taste of this confection more than makes up for it. It's smooth and has a creamy pumpkin flavor that isn't forced or fake. Love it!

It's also available for purchase direct from Bissinger's website if you don't have a Central Market. This one really is a can't miss.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Odwalla Pumpkin Protein Soymilk Drink

I'm not big on crazy protein drinks. I like to chew my protein, normally. But, since I am contractually obligated to try ANYTHING and EVERYTHING made with pumpkin or tasting like pumpkin, I had to give this one a shot.

Odwalla makes all sorts of crazy produce and protein liquids. I don't know how any of them taste, and I don't think I'm interested in trying any of the others. The Pumpkin Protein honestly wasn't bad, but I am not a soy person. If you do like soy, rock on.

I gave this a shot before a soccer match. Not having had a soy drink before, I didn't know what to expect. The front end wasn't very good. The weird thing is, the AFTERTASTE had a fairly nice pumpkin flavor. Once you got past the kinda chalky soy taste, there was a surprising pumpkin treat.

I don't know if it helped my soccer game or not (we lost).

Final Analysis: If you just like pumpkin, this probably isn't recommended. If you like soymilk, you'll probably enjoy far more than I did. 2 out of 5 pumpkins.

Pumpkin Gingersnaps Parfait

If you don't have a Central Market near you, then you should move to a place that has one. CM rocks. They have a great selection of organic, natural foods, fresh meats, fish and produce, a massive wine and beer section that outdoes most liquor stores AND they cook delicious foods on site. The bakery is no exception. Forget Wal-mart... those low wage lard frosting cake makers have nothing on CM.

Among the already numerous things I've found already this year at CM is this parfait is fanamatastic. Imagine a pumpkin pie, whipped into light, fluffy goodness and layered with whipped cream. Now imagine that that pie had a gingerbread crust and the crust is mixed in with the pumpkin. Awesome! 5 out of 5 pumpkins!

Now, I will have to experiment with trying to make an actual pumpkin pie with a gingersnap crust.

Homemade Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin bread might be second only to pumpkin pie as the most common pumpkin treat. Typically, I'm not going to review every pie and bread that I find since they are most likely (unless I'm told otherwise) going to be slight variations on the same recipe, if not made from a kit (Hello, Libby's).

However, when I'm at Richardson's Health Foods in Fort Worth buying my latest batch of raw meat for the dogs and I see a small ziploc bag at the counter with a price tag of $1.50 and the bag contains pumpkin bread, I must say I am intrigued. The employee who was ringing me up told me it was all natural and made by some woman who brought it in the day before. Fresh, all natural, homemade pumpkin bread. I don't know what exactly is in this or if it's fresh pumpkin (not from a can), but it was pretty tasty. Very moist with a solid pumpkin spice flavor. I never felt like I needed milk or beer or other liquid to wash it down. It wasn't sticky... it just melted in my mouth. Well worth $1.50.