For Americans, fall has become synonymous with one thing: pumpkin spice. But how did pumpkin spice become so popular? And how did we reach an age where pumpkin seems to be in everything?
The history of pumpkins in American cuisine dates back to before the founding of the country. Native Americans cooked with pumpkins, and colonists adopted their habits. As one Dutch traveler noted in 1655, "The English, who are fond of tasty food, like pumpkins very much and use them also in pies, and know how to make a beverage from them."
More than 350 years later, thanks to advances in industrialization, the pumpkin spice phenomenon is in full swing. The next time you sip a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, grab a handful of pumpkin spice popcorn, or nibble on a pumpkin cookie, think about all the historical trial and error that went into making this autumnal taste trend so ubiquitous.