Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Seventh Annual Pumpkin Challenge

Each year I challenge myself (and futilely invite others to best me) at consuming as many varieties of pumpkin products as possible between September 15 and October 31. Hmm…looks like you have some questions…

What are the rules?
The only beverage allowed is the milkshake. Food items may not be doubled. Two slices of pumpkin cheesecake count as one item. The only way it could count for two different items is if the second item has a distinct enough difference of flavor that it warrants a different name AND the item comes from a different source than the first item. Pumpkin candles or pumpkin soap do not count unless you eat them.

What is the record? 
During 2010’s Pumpkin Challenge, I consumed 40 different varieties of pumpkin. I wonder if I myself will ever beat that record. A number that high cannot be found in stores alone; it requires a lot of cooking.

Why does it stop on Halloween? Isn’t pumpkin often a Thanksgiving staple?
Ideally, the meeting of mouths to pumpkin products would go on forever. But we most focus our efforts. The Pumpkin Challenge was created to encourage the same sort of crass commercialism extended to that Santa holiday. We want to encourage—through pestering and purchase—stores offering pumpkin foods at progressively earlier dates each year. To focus the Challenge to the height of pumpkin consumption season is both missing the mark and far too easy.