The Best of Pumpkin

By Malea Ritz

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As the air becomes cool and crisp and the leaves begin to turn warm shades of red and yellow, the impending signs of fall are evident everywhere. Seasonal specialties return to stores once again. These fall-flavored items are around for a limited time, so I say embrace the pumpkin while it lasts.

Courtesy blog.blueaura.net

Courtesy blog.blueaura.net

French Meadow, located in the Campus Center, is now dishing up their spin on pumpkin. Pumpkin muffins are a scrumptious snack any time of the day. These soft, moist treats feature crumbles of cream cheese on top and tasty pumpkin flavor throughout, leaving pumpkin connoisseurs full and satisfied.

Bruegger’s Bagels on North Pleasant Street has created a pumpkin cream cheese to accent their already appetizing bagels. This creamy goodness is not exactly low-fat, but is worth every calorie. It adds the perfect pizzazz to a plain bagel.

Atkins Farms in Amherst serves fresh-baked pumpkin bread. The moist, savory bread gives plain bread a run for its money. It is available for in-store pick up only, but is definitely worth the drive.

Bart’s Homemade Ice Cream in Amherst Center is home to a couple of seasonal specialties. Their pumpkin pie is divine and is a taste of home, so it is the perfect remedy for those homesick few. It can be bought by the slice for those that need their pumpkin fix. Bart’s will also be serving up their seasonal pumpkin ice cream, a delight that captivates taste buds. While ice cream is widely considered a summer treat, the pumpkin flavoring gives it a seasonal spin. Pumpkin aficionados will be disappointed when it is gone after the season is over.

Sweets and More, located in the Field residence hall in Orchard Hill, offers a must-try pumpkin milkshake. The frothy delicacy comes sprinkled with nutmeg, which adds the perfect kick. The milky texture combined with the spicy nutmeg may cause an addictive effect. The smooth liquid is delicious until the very last drop.

Green Mountain Coffee features a pumpkin spice flavored coffee that even comes in a Keurig “K-Cup,” perfect for any dorm-brewers out there. The mouth-watering aroma of pumpkin is immediately detectable once it is brewed. Perfect for a dreary fall day, it warms the body right up. This coffee gives you an ideal caffeine kick needed to get out of bed on a chilly autumn day.

Starbucks in Amherst Center is bringing back a pumpkin spice latte. This tasty treat is worth the splurge; go all the way with the whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices. There is no buyer’s remorse involved here.

Bigelow includes a pumpkin spice tea in their vast line of flavors. On its own, the tea can be somewhat plain, with an overbearing pumpkin zest. When Coffee-Mate vanilla caramel cream is added, it is a perfect blend of flavors for a parched palate.

Fall and early winter are festive times, and what would they be without proper seasonal spirits? Shipyard Pumpkin Head Ale gives beer a seasonal twist. The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, as it still tastes like beer, but is slightly sensed. Pour into a glass and line the rim with a cinnamon and sugar mix, which almost simulates drinking pumpkin pie.

Yankee Candle presents two pumpkin candle scents – pumpkin buttercream and pumpkin pie. Pumpkin buttercream has a softer, creamier scent than pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie candle smells spicier and crisper. Either scent would make a great comforting addition to a home, as they are not allowed in the dorms.

There is something about the fall and its seasonal flavors and scents that is so comforting. Sipping coffee at a football game all bundled up in layers is one of the common activities of fall. Sitting around a table at Thanksgiving is a soothing memory for most, though lounging by the fire with a cup of pumpkin tea is a relaxing way to pass the time this fall. Bring on the pumpkin!

Malea Ritz can be reached at [email protected]