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Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod's food writing career began in the kitchen; she owned a restaurant and catering business for 15 years before turning to journalism. By day, she is the social media editor for Portland Press Herald. To relax, she bakes, gardens and hikes with her husband and their two dogs, preferably followed by a cocktail or a Maine beer. Susan can be contacted at 791-6310 or saxelrod@mainetoday.com On Twitter: @susansaxelrod

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Posted: September 10, 2013

Pumpkin: The good, the bad, the beer

Written by: Susan Axelrod

 

Left: Press Herald file photo. Right: Shutterstock.

It starts with the first cool days of early fall: pumpkin showing up just about everywhere.

Pumpkin pie, quick bread, muffins, pancakes cheesecake, donuts — absolutely. East End Cupcakes in Portland announced this yesterday on Twitter: “Drum roll please….Starting tomorrow… PUMPKIN WITH CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING IS BACK!”  Well, YAY!  Pumpkin also works in savory dishes, such as soups, pastas and stews.

But there are some places pumpkin should never be found.

But Vegan Spicy Pumpkin Chai Latte? NO. Ham and Cheese Stuffed Pumpkin? Blech.

I found those two on Pinterest, a veritable treasure trove of pumpkin recipes both sublime and sketchy. Here are a few more of the latter variety:

Pumpkin-cream cheese stuffed croissants (which you would never find at Standard Baking)
Pumpkin pie dip
Pumpkin pie play dough
Pumpkin poo (don’t ask)
Pumpkin puppy chow (ditto)
Pumpkin spice marshmallows
Pumpkin cheesecake popsicles
Pumpkin pie milkshake

Is Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte in this nefarious group? Its thousands of fans (Starbucks affectionately calls them “pumpkin heads” on its website) don’t think so. And then there’s pumpkin beer, either loved — see The Great Pumpkin Beer Review blog, — or loathed — see “PumCaCa Rides Again” on FoodComaME (warning, not suitable for all ages).

Where do you stand in the Great Pumpkin Debate? Do you embrace the golden gourd in every imaginable edible (and drinkable) form or stick to the more mainstream options? Take the poll and share your favorite Maine pumpkin food finds in the comments below.


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