The weather is finally beginning to cool down (consistently) and fall is in full swing. Corn mazes are popping up, leaves are changing color, and the telltale food staple of fall – pumpkin – has certainly arrived. Pumpkin has always been popular this time of year, but according to a recent article from The Food Channel, it may just be reaching bacon-level status.
Despite the drought that caused many of this year’s crops to have an off-year, pumpkins are looking strong for the season. Good news for consumers, that means prices will still be affordable. In fact, according to the USDA, average retail prices are down by more than half compared to a year ago. Pumpkin growers aren’t worried though, as they expect to make up for the lower prices by selling more pumpkins.
Contrary to most crops, pumpkins can actually survive in drier conditions, explaining the abundant yield even with the drought. The only downside is that this year’s fruit may be a bit smaller in size.
Along with kids craving to carve, restaurant demand for pumpkin has also spiked 38 percent in the past two years. Food institutions are serving up dishes like pumpkin seed crepes and pumpkin martinis. Even McDonald’s has jumped on the seasonal bandwagon, whipping up pumpkin milkshakes.
So what do you think? Has pumpkin surpassed the popularity of bacon? What are some crazy pumpkin concoctions you’ve seen so far this year? If you’re pining for some pumpkin of your own, take a look at some of our favorite recipes below: