2009 - All things pumpkin
- rworange Nov 3, 2009 01:46 PM
I haven't been feeling the pumpkin urge this year. Maybe it was the flu. Maybe I'm unable to let go of summer.
Also pumpkin seems to be eluding me. Stopped a few places ... nothing pumpkin.
Today I went to buy my pumpkin sausage at the Tuesday El Cerrito farmers market and the vendor wasn't there. I was all geared up for that sausage on a crusty roll ... or sauteed with mashed sweet potatoes on the side. Sigh.
Haven't tried much this year and most of it has be bleh though there were a few good items.
Bouchon Bakery pumpkin macaron - Very nice. I got it at just the correct 'ripeness' ...a slightly crackly shell, soft almost marzipany interior. Three pumpkin seeds decorated the outside, pretty pumpkin color, nice spicing and while I'm not really sure if there was a pumpkin flavor there was the illusion of it with the texture and spicing.
Screamin' Mimi's pumpkin ice cream. Just had a taste as I wasn't really in the mood, but this was very good this year. Nice pumpkin flavor that wasn't overwhelmed by spice
Cheeseboard pumpkin scone - absolutely no pumpkin flavor. Nice color, moist scone though
Jack in the Box pumpkin shake and Starbucks pumpkin latte. I've found over the years it depends on location and luck of who's making it. Sometimes overly sweet othertimes no taste. The latte was fine. The shake had no pumpkin flavor.
Sooooo ... anyone have pumpkin recs
Past pumpkin posts
Pumpkin pie list
2008 Pumpkin Thread
6528 Washington St, Yountville, CA 94599
6902 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472
6534 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599
Oh wolfie, don't you know who you are talking to? The whole making food thing gives me the vapors.
However I am still circling and stalking that Galeux d'Eysines pumpkin at Berkley Bowl so I might do something cooking wise. If only they weren't so large.
A past pumpkin ice cream thread. IIRC, by the end of it Mitchell's came out on top. I still haven't found anything as good as Mitchell's pumpkin ice cream.
Gunther's in Pinole has a lovely pumpkin shake. I should have used my pumpkin shake calories there instead of Jack in the Box
Along the junk lines I'm finding myself attracted to the pumpkin and gingerbread pancakes at IHOP. I have no shame at times ... or taste.
Beckmann's still remains my favorite pumpkin pie with Bear Claw in Pinole second.
And though it is only pumpkin-shaped, that pumpkin princess cake at Scandia Bakery in Sonoma is good to keep in mind should I need to bring something for a Thanksgiving dinner
My not very successful pumpkin stop at Fat Apples a few years back.
I'm a little sorry now I didn't get the pumpkin millet bread at Oak Hill Farm in Sonoma but it sounded so ... healthy. Other pumpkin breads
You might want to wait on the Spring Hill pumpkin quark a bit. They need a new batch, as the stuff I had last week didn't live up to the usual quality. A bit too much spice (obscured pumpkin flavor), may have been less sweet (not that it's super-sweet, but this wasn't at all), and even worse, a grainy, uneven texture, as if the pumpkin hadn't been thoroughly incorporated - not smooth as usual.
It's not seasonal, they have them all the time, but I love the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins at Hopkins Street Bakery in Berkeley.....something I really miss now that I'm on the other side of the Bay.
Ricks ice cream in Palo Alto has some good pumpkin ice cream - really good with a scoop of their industrial chocolate :)
re: Melanie Wong
The Berkeley location also has them on the specials menu. They were good but not really pumpkiny
I think I need to give up on pumpkin this year and acknowlege that for me, this was the year of the apple. I've had great apples and apple dishes without really trying. While chasing around after pumpkin has yielded little.
Di Brova didn't show up at the El Cerrito Farmers market on Tuesday and after driving down to the Friday Oakland Farmers market for the sole purpose of buying pumpkin sausage, I learned they don't have them this year. The place they contracted to make them didn't want to bother.
Scream had sweet potato and coconut gelato, but no pumpkin. The flavor of the sweet potato was more Carribean than ... Autumn.
Whole Foods Oakland had lots of things pumpkin ... none of which caught my attention. The free sample of the pumpkin pie was ok, but on the bland side. The pumpkin donut holes were a healthy version and there were just too many in the bag to try. They had pumpkin cheesecake, but that is low on my ladder of pumpkin cravings. Didn't see the pumpkin cookies or pumpkin bars.
Naia Gelato at Whole Foods had a sign for pumpkin gelato ... they just ran out. The butternut squash gelato didn't do much for me.
However, keeping with this year's theme, Naia's apple gelato is great and the free sample of mulled cider Whole Foods was selling was very good ... especially on a cold, rainy day.
Lush Gelato didn't have pumpkin on the menu that day. The lady at the shop said she would ask about them making more since it fabulous. Sigh. The pear sorbet is amazing though.
Forced to finally set foot in Fenton's, the pumpkin was a little too subtle but the other holiday flavor were wonderful. I also found out I really like Fenton's Ice Cream.
There was no nearby parking at John's $1 ice cream and it was raining too hard to walk far.
And in last ditch desperation, I bought Safeway's pumpkin yogurt ... HFCS be damned. It didn't taste like much ... no spice ... no pumpkin flavor
I bow to the food gods and will stop trying so hard to seek it out. If pumpkin happens fine.
Marianne's ice cream shop in Santa Cruz has the best pumpkin ice cream I've had. I ate a great pumpkin that was an Australian pumpkin with a pale green skin. It was so sweet that it was great mashed with butter and cinnamon.
Oddly enough I was drinking it as I opened the post. Usually Buffalo Bill is a flop. I avoided it ... but again ... it hasn't been a pumpkin year for me,, so I went ahead and bought a bottle. It is nicer this year with a pleasant pumpkin and spice aroma and a pleasant taste. I bought it at Whole Foods, but almost everone sells it. Raley's is a pain because they won't sell single bottles like everyone else, only six packs ... which is dumb because I am not going to commit to six bottles until I try at least one.
The only thing pumpkiny about John's $1 ice cream was the color ... and it was icy on top of it. That never happened at John's before. They did have a really swell spumoni with little bits of fruit and nuts ... $1 swell though ... however maybe the best $1 scoop of spumoni in the world. It just wasn't fancy or anything ... low-class spumoni like I like it with green pistachio ice cream.
Keeping with my pumpkin luck, even though it isn't seasonal, the only reason I sat down at the new L & L Chinese restaurant in El Cerrito was because of the sliced pumpkin with plum sauce. They didn't have pumpkin yet.
The chalkboard at Venus listed pumpkin pancakes today.
2327 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94704
Sweet Adeline has really good cupcakes. The pumpkin cupcake w/ chocolate frosting & some pomegranates is good! $2.50 ea.
Had dinner at King of Thai (O'Farrell @ Powell) Union Square and there was a special chicken & pumpkin curry dish. Didn't try it.
3350 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA
King of Thai
184 O Farrell St, San Francisco, CA
Had a nice pumpkin shake at the original Taylor's last night -- good pumpkin flavor, not too much "pumpkin pie spice". (If you want to go to Taylor's and not wait in line, a cold November evening is a good bet, and eating under the heat lamps is really not too bad!)
933 Main St, Saint Helena, CA 94574
Firefly restaurant has Jack-o-Lantern pumpkin steak on the menu. I have never had it myself but have heard good things about it.
4288 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
I have been enjoying the pumpkin muffins at Specialty's. For ice cream, Double Rainbow is a perennial favorite. I also like the pumpkin "rocks" (cookies) and pumpkin cake with cream cheese frosting at Sweet Things.
Last night my husband and I had an informal pumpkin pie tasting. The contestants were Sweet Things, Tartine, Bay Bread Boulangerie, Mission Pie, and Trader Joe's (the ringer - hey, it's $4.99, I had to try it). Sweet Things came out the winner, for their very traditional pie crust and filling. The overall flavor was light, not overly spiced, and familiar - like Libby's recipe. Next favorite was Bay Bread Boulangerie's pumpkin tart. I liked that it had lots of filling, with a deeper flavor (brown sugar?) and more spice than Sweet Things' pie. It has a tart crust rather than pie crust, but that was fine with me. Trader Joe's pie was actually not bad. The spice in the filling was a bit harsh, but we thought it was a good value. Mission Pie's filling had a nice, somewhat different flavor and was clearly from fresh pumpkin; I didn't mind the stringiness of the filling, but there were some seeds which definitely detracted from the eating experience. Their crust tasted good, but could be a bit more tender. Surprisingly, the least favorite was Tartine's pie. The filling was too rich and creamy, not quite sweet enough, and overly spiced - the pumpkin flavor just didn't come through. I also prefer a more traditional crust to their super flaky, super dark crust. I was especially surprised that I didn't like it more since I've baked (and enjoyed) the pumpkin pie recipe from their cookbook (although I might have ad libbed a little - can't remember for sure).
2901 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
2325 Pine St, San Francisco, CA 94115
3585 California St, San Francisco, CA
re: Anya L
Thanks for doing this tasting. I also saw pumpkin pies, along with apple, sweet potato and pecan at Cheese Plus on Polk Street. I think they are made by Katiana, but couldn't find any info online. The pies are $15. I haven't tried any yet, but I'm tempted.
2001 Polk St, San Francisco, CA
Thep Phenom does a pretty good Pumpkin Curry, although I still find them to be slightly overpriced.
I haven't been, but Helmand Palace's pumpkin-heavy menu has always enticed me.
2424 Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94109
There's pumpkin pie flavor frozen yogurt at TuttiFrutti on Piedmont Ave. I actually really liked it -- usually frozen yogurt flavors don't really taste like much, but this was very flavorful, lots of pumpkin pie type spices and such.
Pumpkin buttermilk doughnuts on Pizzaiolo's breakfast menu. The pumpkin flavor is not very pronounced, but with the wonderful crumb and crunchy sugar dusting, all is forgiven.
5008 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609
I tried a sample of the pumpkin bread at Semi freddi. It was quite good, very moist and nice balance spicing. Has anyone tried their pumpkin pie? They only sell it whole.
Also, Moterrey Market is selling Sierra Glen pies. Any one tried the pumpkin or any of them?
Lucca has pumpkin ravioli for $6.50 a flat. They are vegetarian and have their usually ricotta in them. Very tasty with a little sage and olive oil.
They are not pumpkin-flavored pasta though, and mild if you're on a bright orange flavor kick.
It's good. I don't know if I would pick it over some of their other concoctions and order it again but it had a good healthy natural pumpkin taste. I will say, it's heavy on the Anise, giving it a licorice-y flavor, which worked for me, but will not be for everyone. Honestly, after a while, my taste buds stopped recognizing the spices which were overpowered by the vanilla base. Other tastebuds might recognize the clove, fennel, or pepper more than I could.
Tasted a sample of the pumpkin ice cream at Chocolatier Blue Patisserie. I liked it - I don't have much to compare it to, but it was good.
Moonlite Bakery at the Berkeley Farmers market sells slices of pumpkin date bread. Not too sweet...just enough pumpkin taste.
Ichabod's Revenge, $12, seasonal cocktail at Cyrus in Healdsburg. Faithfully reproduces the flavors of the finest pumpkin pie you've ever had in drinkable form. Fresh squeezed pumpkin juice, vanilla bean rum, allspice syrup, orange, and other stuff I'm forgetting. Usually i hate sugared rims but this was ground pepitas and raw brown sugar that was lovely. Barkeep Erica was fantastic.
re: Melanie Wong
That sounds amazing but how does one squeeze pumpkin juice?
Looks like the highlight of my pumpkin season were the pie and cake at a Thanksgiving buffet at Lake Chalet.
I had pumpkin pie ice cream with caramel sauce at Chocoletier Blue today. It had good spicing but the pumpkin was a little subtle. Very nice caramel sauce though.
They have a pumpkin bon bon but again, it is more about the spice than the pumpkin