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!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bertagni Pumpkin Ravioli

This the second pumpkin filled ravioli I've had. The other one was really good. This one is even better.

I've never heard of Bertagni before, but these guys make some fine ravioli. The main thing is that they stuff the pasta with pure pumpkin with some spices so you get all the pumpkin flavor without anything funking it up. Toss in a little creamy Alfredo sauce and it makes a dandy dinner dish.

Pumpkin Truffles

From Sweet Shop USA, it's a pumpkin truffle! Chocolate covered fluffy pumpkin filling... mmmmmm...

It's not bad, actually, but still a bit disappointing. The pumpkin filling is great, although it has a slightly spongy marshmallow feel. The main problem though is that the chocolate is really unimpressive. In fact, it was so unimpressive that Mrs. Pumpkinboy didn't even finish the one she tried.

Still, I found them okay although maybe not quite worth the relatively high cost.

Buffalo Bill's Pumpkin Ale

In years past, I've found this to be a truly awful. But at the same time, this is also one of the first non-pie pumpkin items I ever tried. So, in some way, this is kind of the item that started this whole obsession with pumpkin.

Now I don't know if they changed the formula, of taste buds changed, or I just got some freaky bottle, but the one I had this year was really good. I could actually taste pumpkin and spice. Stunned! I am STUNNED!!!

I shall have to try another and see if this holds up.

Pumpkin Spice Malted Milk Balls

Central Market strikes again! Apparently, they had some extra bright orange pumpkin spice flavoring left over from the bark they made and so they mixed it in with some malted milk balls. Consequently, they taste a lot like the bark... the same really strong spice flavor. Of course the main difference is that here, the spice has a a crisp malted milk partner as opposed to a creamy chocolate attachment.

I just happen to like malted milk balls so I found these pretty good.

Salem Baking Moravian Pumpkin Spice Cookies

These tasty little treats are crispy cookies with a great pumpkin flavor. In fact, it's almost like a little piece of pie crust with the pumpkin filling baked right in. YUM! And the come in a can! It's almost like Pumpkin Pringles.

Plus, they are wafer thin so even Mr. Creosote will eat them! Apparently, Moravian is a style of cookie that is very very thin and originated from the Moravian Church in Colonial America.

Special bonus: They come from Salem Baking which is perfect for Halloween!

Zachary Pumpkin Spice Gourmet Candy Corn

Hey look! Another "Gourmet Pumpkin Spice flavored Candy Corn"! Does it taste better than the other "Gourmet Pumpkin Spice flavored Candy Corn"?


Still tastes like candy corn (yuck!) with a hint of something sort of like pumpkin.

The only real difference is that the other kind was a generic.... this one is made by "Zachary".

Caramel Apple Sugar Babies

Oooooohhhhh... seasonals! Who doesn't like caramel apples? Granted, the green apple candy coating is maybe a little too thick and it would be better if there was some apple flavor within the sugar baby itself, since the apple flavor pretty much gone by the time you get to the caramel part. I mean, you could just start chewing the thing, but sugar babies really aren't chewable... unless you need to lose a tooth.

Still, these are a nice Fall flavor.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Jell-O No Bake Pumpkin Style Pie

We decided to have a low key Thanksgiving in 2008. Didn't want to travel, none of the families were doing anything, and we weren't interested in cooking much. So, we did a sort of traditional Thanksgiving meal. When I say "Sort of", I mean that most of the main ingredients were traditional, but prepared in quick and easy ways.

We had turkey burgers and sweet potato french fries. And then for dessert, we had this Jell-O No Bake Pumpkin Style Pie. As if the No Bake part wasn't different enough, it's just a pumpkin "style" pie... as in "this isn't really a pumpkin pie but it's close enough for your lazy ass".

Still, this was a great dessert. Jell-O does pumpkin pudding stuff pretty well (the Cheesecake cups were a little weird but okay). The pie itself was pretty easy to make even if the crust didn't come out quite the way the instructions indicated.

there didn't seem to be enough crust in the mix to actually coat the dish entirely and still be thick enough to provide support for the pumpkin mix. And then there was the problem of shaping the upper part of the crust, as you can see from the picture. Thus, when slices were cut from the pie and placed on plates, it tended to fall apart. It all tasted good even if the appearance left much to be desired.

Jell-O Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Snacks

This one was a miss. The other Jell-O things I've tried were really good... this one was just... weird. The flavor was okay... a good blend of pumpkin and cheesecake, which is always a good mix in my book, but the texture was just strange. It was like a spongy, not quite right, creme brulee. You can even kind of see what I mean in the picture on the package. It was all flan-custardy and was just too strange to get past for me.

I think Mrs. Pumpkinboy enjoyed it though, so maybe it's just me.

Pumpkin Scone

Target find from a few years back. I gotta tell ya, scones don't do much for me. They are real moist and they just kind crumble to pieces and dry out your mouth.

The pumpkin taste was okay, but there was waaaaaaaay too much icing on this. Contrary to popular opinion, icing should be used sparingly for a little blast of sweetness. It should not be the focus of the item.

Pumpkin Pie Squares

Okay, this one is actually really old... maybe 2006 or 2007. Found these at Target one year. They were pretty good, kind of like a fig newton with icing. Soft and with just the right amount of pumpkin flavor, these were a nice little pastry.

I actually intended on taking them to work to share with people but Bergkamp, the crazing beagle-terrier mix, got loose in the truck and ate them before I could pull over and separate him from the treats.

Pumpkin Pocky

Pocky... what the hell is Pocky? It's some crazy Japanese snack that seems to involve coated bread-cookie sticks. Usually it's some sort of chocolate based coating. In this instance, it claims to be a Pumpkin coated Pocky.

I found this on eBay from somebody who apparently imported it in from Japan. It's actually really good... except that the "pumpkin" tastes more like "white chocolate". So far, from the Japanese products I've sampled, they don't seem to understand what pumpkin is supposed to taste like. Still, it's a tasty treat even if it isn't pumpkiny.

Bonus points for the ever bewildering Japanese packaging. "Lovely Halloween!" it exclaims over a very happy Jack O' Lantern... yes, "Lovely Halloween!" indeed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pumpkin Pie flavored Gourmet Candy Corn

Okay, first of all "Gourmet Candy Corn" is like saying "High Class Hillbilly"... it just can't happen. Candy Corn is one of the lowest forms of cheap candy and cheap candy is one of the lowest forms of food. Typically, I can eat 2 or 3 pieces of candy corn at a time before I decide that I've had plenty. It's just colorful sugar and I have better things to eat.
Still, I had to try the candy corn that claimed to have "pumpkin pie" flavor. Guess what! It tasted just like candy corn. There was maybe a hint of some sort of spice to it, but it wasn't something you'd just casually notice. Put these in a bowl for guests and a) they probably wouldn't notice any difference between these and regular candy corn and b) they probably wouldn't stay very long if you offered them a dish of candy corn.
What's really sad is that I had just eaten a pumpkin cookie and I was afraid that I might skew the tatse test and think they tasted more pumpkiny than they actually did. Nope. The candy corn taste overpowered the pumpkin flavor residue already inhabiting my mouth and left nothing but the tatse of candy corn.
I'll give it another shot with a totally unbiased tongue, devoid of any residual flavoring, but I'm not expecting much.
UPDATE 9/18/09: gave it a second shot. Could actually taste more pumpkin spice... but it's still candy corn

Cinnamon Frosted Pumpkin Cookies

Found these at Tom Thumb last weekend. I was afraid these were going to be overpowering with the cinnamon and frosting, especially since I'm not a fan of frosting or excessive cinnamon. However, these blend together very well and were highly enjoyable. The cookie itself has a nice pumpkin flavor and the cinnamon frosting is just about the perfect partner.
It's a soft cookie, which threw me off at first. I mean, REALLY soft, like "I had trouble getting it out of the package because even the slightest pressure started to squish the cookie" soft.
Not a bad find for this early in the season. I'll definitely have to check the Tom Thumb bakery again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Silk Pumpkin Spice Soymilk

YUCK! Soymilk is awful! And the pitiful tasting pumpkin flavor can't mask the awful!

TastyKake Pumpkin Pie

So, I've heard the praises of TastyKakes. Some pies from up north that people just rave about. I mean, some of the comments just make these things sound like food that angels would make for Jesus. So, I had to try one. Fortunately, eBay has become quite a useful tool in finding all manner of pumpkin crap that I can't find locally.

I found a guy selling some who promised that they were fresh from the store and mailed right away. I got 4 pies that were already past their fresh date. Still, I don't think that accounts for the bizarre taste of the TastyKake.

The crust was pretty good, nice and flaky... pretty good pastry. The pumpkin filling was just weird though. It had a strange texture and a slightly lemony flavor. Maybe the freshness came into play, I don't know, but the lemon thing just threw me off completely. Maybe I'll order direct from the company this year and give it a second chance.

Wolferman's Pumpkin Spice English Muffins

Wolferman's makes some good bread products. English Muffins are good eatin' most any time. So last year when I found out that Wolferman's has a pumpkin spice English muffin, I was all over it. I ordered these along with some original English muffins and some Apple butter.

I must say, I found these to be very interesting... but not for the taste. The flavor was pretty disappointing and I couldn't tell much difference between the pumpkin spice and the original. The apple butter was pretty good on them though.

No, what was interesting was that the original flavor muffins developed mold after about 2 weeks. I finally threw out the pumpkin spice muffins last week (I got these last November). They were stale and hard, but NO MOLD! I'm not sure what's in that pumpkin spice, but mold doesn't like it.

They have these again this year and as a bonus, they now offer pumpkin butter spread. MMMMMM!!!!!!

See's Candies Pumpkin Spice Lollipops

Okay, so there are actually a bunch of things that I got LAST year (2008) that I never got posted. So, I'll be mixing in last year's finds with this year's.
See's Candies makes some pretty good stuff. The truffles from last year were quite good. I also got these Pumpkin Spice Lollipops. Pumpkin lollipops? Who wouldn't want that??!?!

They kind of look like a big caramel block on a stick and are a hard but slightly malleable substance. The taste is interesting. It's not quite pumpkin, but more of a caramel with some creamy, spiced flavor. I found myself unable to stop eating the thing once I started. If you concentrated on it, you could pretty easily convince yourself it tasted like pumpkin, although in the half hour I spent eating it, I was reading sports blogs so I wasn't paying that close attention to the taste. It still tasted pretty good though. It got better and better as it went along.

See's has them available again this year, so at least I'm not talking about something that you could only get last year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Bark and a welcome to Pumpkin Season 2009!

Yippeee!!!! It's pumpkin season!!! That means I'm supposed to eat weird food and talk about on this blog. Perhaps this year I won't give up by December.

There isn't any set date for when pumpkin season starts. Sure, Starbucks usually rolls out the Pumpkin Spice Lattes before anybody else starts putting out pumpkin stuff, but Starbucks isn't very exciting. So, for me, it starts when I find something new to try.

Today, at my favorite pumpkin place, Central Market, I found the first of this years batch. Pumpkin Spice Bark. It's a bright orange colored white chocolate with spice flavor and chocolate cookies mixed in. Now last year, I had pumpkin bark that was just chocolate and pumpkin blended together. It was smooth, creamy, and a nice pumpkin flavor. This bark, however, is different. It doesn't have a smooth pumpkin flavor, but it does have a strong pumpkin like spice flavor that does blend pretty well with the chocolate. I think the spice is a little too strong though and takes away from the overall enjoyment. Not bad overall, and a decent way to start this years pumpkin festivities. But I'm hoping we get some better stuff down the road.