Pumpkin Spice-Up Everything!

Tina Lerno, Librarian, Digital Content Team,
pumpkin spice bottles on a spice blend background
Pumpkin pie spice, also known as pumpkin spice usually contains a mixture of five spices including ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice

It's that time of year—fall, aka autumn, aka pumpkin spice season!

While September 22 is the official first day of autumn, its unofficial start, however, is when a certain coffee company rolls out their pumpkin spice lattes. This year the madness ensued at the end of August when the LA temps were still in the high 90s.

Starbucks began selling this iconic fall beverage in 2003, containing... zero actual pumpkins. You see, dear reader, as with most things pumpkin spice, its the spices added to pumpkin pie, and not actual pumpkin that gives the taste, and smell—evoking the hygge feelings of fall.

Pumpkin pie spice, also known as pumpkin spice usually contains a mixture of five spices including ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. Pumpkin pie spice has been referenced in cookbooks dating all the way back to the 1890s, and even further back as a recipe known as "Pompkin" [dated 1796] which included a spice blend of mace, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice.

old pumpkin recipe
Excerpt from Simmons' American Cookery book from 1796

Should you like to start concocting your own signature fall beverage, or a spicy side dish, the library has an amazing collection of cookbooks, both online and at our branches for you to peruse. Our Central Library has one of the largest culinary collections in the country and also boasts the largest collection in the world of cookbooks printed in California. There are also cooking magazines and a nifty food database, A to Z World Foods, containing all kinds of helpful information to spice up your fall.

three early American cookbooks
Cookbooks from our vast collection, including early mentions of pumpkin pie spice in recipes

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice


Pumpkin Pie Spice Cookbook: Delicious Recipes for Sweets, Treats, and Other Autumnal Delights
Pedersen, Stephanie

Purely Pumpkin: More Than 80 seasonal Recipes to Share, Savor, and Warm Your Kitchen
Day, Allison

Spice: Recipes to Delight the Senses
Manfield, Christine

Spice: Understand the Science of Spice, Create Exciting New Blends, and Revolutionize Your Cooking
Farrimond, Stuart

Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson: Recipes to Bring Comfort and Joy
Olson, Anna

Making Your Own Gourmet Coffee Drinks: Espressos, Cappuccinos, Lattes, Mochas, and More!
Tekulsky, Mathew

Hot Drinks: Cider, Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate, Spiced Punch, Spirits
Heiss, Mary Lou

Hot Toddies: Mulled Wine, Buttered Rum, Spiced Cider, and Other Soul-Warming Winter Drinks
O'Hara, Christopher B.

Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails

Death by Pumpkin Spice
Erickson, Alex


 

 

 

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