So when did this blend of spices (which includes cinnamon, allspice, clove, and ginger) start being referred to as “pumpkin spice'”? Even in the days of Pliny, merchants would talk of winged beasts guarding the spices and other similarly fantastical tales, and Pliny mocked them relentlessly for it. Pumpkin spice has no pumpkin in it; however, it has the smell of pumpkin. Keep in mind however that the Romans had a more wide-bearing definition of spices than we do today, which included medical plants, those used for perfumes or intended to be burnt, such as incense, plants that were used in makeup, and those that could be employed to preserve food. Pumpkin Spice—Hold the Pumpkin. It was also the lynchpin of bustling trade routes in the area; natives on the Banda Islands made a decent living by growing their crops of spices, while Arab and Indian traders made a fortune from carrying it around. So, naturally, people started putting it in coffee. Let’s have a closer look at the origins of pumpkin spice. Spices were stupidly expensive in Europe (at this time, nutmeg was still more expensive than gold), so everybody wanted to have a monopoly on them, overcharge, and keep all the profits. Spices also sometimes traveled via the “Via serica” (literally “the Silk Road”), which was the avenue of trade and diplomacy between China and Europe (mostly the Roman Empire) in antiquity. There’s a good chance they also have asbestos, Adults over 50 are a priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. This leads us nicely to: Everybody was making bank from carrying spices towards Europe. The individual spices that make up pumpkin spice have long been used in the places where they’re endemic. It is generally a blend of ground cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and sometimes allspice. October 16, 2020. With the title “Spice Cake Of Pumpkin Newest Dish: Delicacy Tempting to All Appetites and Easy to Prepare. by Alexandru Micu. It has to be mentioned that Roman coins were severely debased (devalued by inflation) at the time due to shenanigans by a long string of rulers during the Imperial Crisis, but these affected the prices of all commodities. But many would rather wait, Cocoa flavanols boost cognitive abilities by increasing oxygen in the brain, Covid mink variant is “very likely extinct” in Denmark — but some areas may continue culling, What’s intermittent fasting? Portuguese traders were very content to just buy the spices from the Bandanese at first, partly because it was still lucrative, partly because they tried (and failed) to establish fortifications on the island. Ideal Dessert for Family Dinner, Healthful for Children”, this dish made use of the popular flavors we know and love today, while also containing actual pumpkin. But the mystery only deepened with the collapse of the Roman Empire when a lot of local knowledge (including that of far-away places) was lost. They’re definitely still valued, but they’re not reserved only for the tables of the rich and powerful any longer. It wasn’t until the 1950’s that spice companies actually began selling blends labeled “pumpkin pie spice”, which was then simplified to “pumpkin spice” in the 1960’s. Pumpkin spice, in itself, isn’t even very unique — variations on this mix have been in use for the last 2 to 3 centuries now. Cinnamon is also chiefly produced in South and South-East Asia, with Indonesia, China, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka accounting for over 90% of total production. However, this homey and nostalgic flavor didn’t just recently become a part of fall. Well, it is a mixture of sweet spices — cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves — all ground together in various proportions; sometimes, it can also include allspice. That year, the Washington Post published a recipe for “Pumpkin spice cakes”. Over time, however, people figured out that you can sell pumpkin spice even sans pumpkin. As Chicagoist notes, in the 1950s and ’60s, food company McCormick began to “bundle” spices commonly used in pumpkin pie into a single, amalgamated spice known as pumpkin spice such that “those who didn’t feel like measuring individual spices” wouldn’t have to anymore. While PSL (Pumpkin Spice Lattes) may have only really risen in popularity over the last decade or so, it seems as though pumpkin spice has been around for a lot longer than that. But it's not just Starbucks shilling out pumpkin-spiced goodies this season; M&M's just released a pumpkin spice flavor, while McDonald's and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf have their knockoff coffee versions. By the time it reached Europe, a bag of nutmeg was worth more than most people made in a lifetime. From there, the Dutch East India Company (or ‘Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie’, VOC, in Dutch) grew into the richest company in history, estimated at around 7.8 trillion of your modern dollars. This area accounts for around 90% of the global production of nutmeg, which earned it the moniker of the ‘Spice Islands‘. Daily Pumpkin spice today is heavily associated with autumn. Britain managed to hold onto the island of Rhun (or Run) which became their first (but definitely not last) colony until 1667, when they traded it over for Manhattan. We’ve got the usual suspects of lattes, candles, and lotions – just to name a few. Soon after that, small coffee shops around the country began to become interested in the spice blend, and pumpkin spice coffee started showing up everywhere. It can also be used as a seasoning in general cooking. By the time that Emperor Diocletian issued his Edict of Maximum Prices (“Edictum de Maximis pretiis”) in the year 301 AD, many spices were worth more than gold or jewels per the same unit of volume. This is the fascinating history of pumpkin spice. The spicy history of how pumpkin spice got so popular Your favorite autumn latte has quite the troubled history -- and no pumpkin. Even today, the world’s chief source of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) are the Malaku Islands of Indonesia, where the plant is endemic. But there was, eventually, war between the European powers of Britain, Portugal, Spain, and the Dutch. It hails from the 1930’s when US-based McCormick started selling the mix commercially under the name of ‘pumpkin pie spice’. It would all however end eventually, as all things do, when in 1769 French-born Pierre Poivre smuggled nutmeg seedlings to the Mauritius islands. India, China, Nigeria, and Nepal grow most of the world’s ginger. I have read and agree to the terms & conditions. Understanding and Applying Your DNA Test Results, Family Tree Templates and Relationship Charts, How to Find Your Ancestor’s US Military Records, Preserving Old Photos of Your Family History, Surnames: Family Search Tips and Surname Origins, Researching Mayflower Connections – An Interview with Chris Child: Episode 143. Get unlimited access to premium articles. There is a species of ‘California nutmeg’ native to the US, but this isn’t related to true nutmeg and is not used as a spice. The fighting started after the Dutch established their first land bases in the area, around 1512, and raged on until the late 1660s. The presence of the squash’s flavor is actually from the fact that these are spices we have associated with pumpkin cooking for a long time. 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