It can be a pleasant surprise to come across a random can of pureed pumpkin in the market aisle deep into the springtime.
Such a seasonal-sweet sight is like a letter sent from autumn, and though we're aware that the gourdly goodness is available year-round at the grocery store, at least in puree form, it still seems like a particular taste that's fully fall.
That could be because the Pumpkin Spice Latte passions heat up around August, right when Starbucks, and just about every other coffeehouse around, unveils the return date for the limited-time-only beverage. Or it could be because all of the corner pumpkin patches make us crave the spicy hearty flavor specific to the squash.
Whatever the case, know this: The pumpkin's day is waning, at least for 2016, at least as a special, get-it-now treat. Caramel and apple have taken some of the spotlight, and soon? Peppermint'll be the sippable, suppable, seasonal superstar.
Best get on your last few slurps and scoops in the days to come, pumpkinists, at places like...
Frozen Fruit Co: The Montana Avenue shop is devoted to making "dairy free, vegan, gluten free, no white or cane sugar, just made from fruit" treats. Pumpkin is a fruit, of course, so you can bet the Santa Monica desserterie has the falltime deliciousness (think flavors like Banana Pumpkin Spice, mmm).
Sweet Rose Creamery: Finding something sweet that looks like it might arrive inside a jack o'lantern isn't too hard this time of year, but finding some zing to that yumness is another journey. Look to the Spiced Pumpkin, a cool-to-the-palate experience that boasts the aforementioned zing.
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Bennett's Ice Cream: It's one of the stalwarts of one of SoCal's most stalwart-esque spots, the Original Farmers Market. And while classics like chocolate and vanilla rule — and the oh-so-local Fancy Nancy — many a maven returns each year for the straight-up, it's-delish Pumpkin Ice Cream.
Salt & Straw: Sherbet, as a general rule, seems to dominate the warmer months, so it is a tad unexpected to find a pumpkin-y sherbet come October. The ever-growing, started-in-Portland boutique chain has it, it has a hint of pumpkin juice, and it is called Jack O'Lantern Pumpkin Sherbet.