The leaves are changing colors, there is a slight chill in the air . . . fall is here! This means something particularly strange for many students who study English in San Diego or San Francisco: with the fall season comes PUMPKIN EVERYTHING!

No one really knows why Americans are so obsessed with pumpkin flavored foods and drinks, (although there is a very interesting theory about why the country loves pumpkins) but most Americans will agree that the country definitely has a pumpkin craze during the fall months. To get into the holiday spirit, try sampling some of these popular pumpkin-flavored items:

pumpkin pie
Photo from All

Pumpkin Pie

The dessert most closely associated with Thanksgiving is also eaten throughout the fall months (and for many, it is also present on the Christmas dinner table). Make sure to top yours with some whipped cream: so delicious!

Pumpkin pies are found in any grocery store bakery department, but you can also make your own quite easily. Check out these recipes for some tasty homemade pies:

Perfect Pumpkin Pie from All Recipes

Classic Pumpkin Pie from Martha Stewart


Photo from Starbucks

Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spiced Latte

For many Americans, the appearance of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks marks the beginning of the fall season. Pumpkin, coffee, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg come together to make a beverage that is perfect for the colder weather.  Like pumpkin pie, this drink is best when topped with whipped cream for a sweet finish.

Label from Manzanita Brewing Co.

Pumpkin Beer

We know it sounds strange . . . but this flavor combination works! In fact, pumpkin beer has existed for centuries: early American settlers used pumpkins to make beer during years when they did not have barley. This seasonal beer has just slight pumpkin and spice flavors, making this cold beverage appropriate for fall weather. San Diego has an exploding beer scene, and many of its local breweries make seasonal brews. We suggest the Manzanita Brewing Company Witch’s Hair, which also has flavors of vanilla and molasses.

The list could go on and on: pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin fudge . . . even pumpkin ice cream and frozen yogurt! Be on the lookout for pumpkin flavored foods and drinks while you study English in San Diego or San Francisco.

The word “pumpkin”

Americans love pumpkin so much that they use it as a term of endearment. Partners, children, pets . . . anything or anyone you love can be called pumpkin! Here are some examples of how we use pumpkin as a term of endearment.

  • Hi, pumpkin! Did you have a good day at school?
  • Look at this little pumpkin! What a cute puppy!
  • What’s wrong, pumpkin? Don’t cry!

We also often pronounce the word as “pun-kin” in this context.

  • Good morning, punkin!
  • I love you, punkin.

Have you tried pumpkin-flavored foods or drinks? If you try something tasty, make sure to tell us about it by posting a pic on our Facebook page. Happy fall to our students!