National Pumpkin Spice Day Date in the current year: October 1, 2024

National Pumpkin Spice Day A lot of people associate autumn with the smell of pumpkin spice and always look forward to the beginning of the pumpkin spice latte season in coffee shops. If you’re one of those people, you absolutely need to celebrate National Pumpkin Spice Day on October 1.

Pumpkin pie spice, commonly referred to as simply pumpkin spice, is a spice mix that consists of ground cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and sometimes allspice (Jamaica pepper). There is a common misconception that pumpkin spice includes pumpkin as an ingredient; in reality it received its name because it was invented as a flavoring for pumpkin pie.

The earliest recipe calling for a spice mix similar to pumpkin pie spice is dated 1796. It is a recipe for a pumpkin pie that can be found in the first known American cookbook, American Cookery by Amelia Simmons. The recipe suggests adding ginger, mace and nutmeg to the crust, and allspice and ginger to the custard-like pumpkin filling.

Mentions of pumpkin pie spice can be found in cookbooks dating to the 1890s such as Smiley’s Cook Book and Universal Household Guide (published in 1895) and The Original Boston Cooking-School Cookbook (published in 1896). In 1934, McCormick & Company became the first food company to produce pre-mixed pumpkin spice. Today, this spice blend is produced by many companies.

Pumpkin pie spice originated in the United States, but similar spice blends exist in other cuisines. For example, mixed spice (or pudding spice) is popular in the United Kingdom and some other Commonwealth countries. Its principal ingredients are cinnamon (sometimes replaced with cassia), allspice and nutmeg. Optional ingredients include caraway, cayenne pepper, cloves, coriander seeds, and ginger.

A similar spice mix used in Dutch cuisine is called koekkruiden (cookie spices) or speculaaskruiden (shortbread spices), It consists of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, and white pepper. This spice blend is commonly added to sweet pastries eaten during the cold season, especially on Saint Nicholas Day.

Although pumpkin spice was originally invented for pumpkin pies, it can be used to flavor a wide range of goods, both homemade and commercial. The trend for pumpkin spice flavored products was started by the Pumpkin Spice Latte, a popular seasonal coffee beverage that was introduced by Starbucks in 2003. Interestingly, the current recipe of the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte, which was introduced in 2015, does include actual pumpkin in addition to pumpkin spice.

The origin of National Pumpkin Spice Day is unclear, but this doesn’t stop thousands of people across the country from celebrating it every year. You can join the celebration by ordering a pumpkin spice latte at your favorite coffee shop, baking something with pumpkin spice and share the baked goods with your friends and family, making your own pumpkin spice blend, enjoying pumpkin spice flavored products, and spreading the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #NationalPumpkinSpiceDay.

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National Pumpkin Spice Day, unofficial holidays, observances in the US, pumpkin spice, pumpkin pie spice, food days