Opinion: Pumpkin – one flavor to rule them all? What the heck?

9/7/2017 | G. Michael Dobbs

Category: September

I’m standing at a Dunkin’ Donuts the other day waiting for a breakfast sandwich and I could help but be drawn to a video billboard in the shop breathlessly proclaiming the return of pumpkin to the establishment.

Pumpkin flavor in various coffee drinks, pumpkin cream cheese for bagels and pumpkin cake donuts were all heralded.

When the heck did this happen?

Now I’m not a coffee drinker, but my wife is and I know, being the semi-astute husband that I am, she looks forward to pumpkin lattes every year.

My question is when did pumpkin flavor become a small industry?

I grew up at a time when pumpkins were grown for two reasons: pies and jack ‘o lanterns.

I became aware of the pumpkin presence in coffee a few years ago but was caught off-guard by the creeping influence of the fall vegetable in other items.

Who decided such things?

Is there a pumpkin lobby that advances the cause of pumpkin for the nation’s pumpkin growers – farmers who were tired of having such a limited market for their versatile vegetable?

Did a Dunkin’ Donut exec discover the glories of pumpkin for him or herself?

Are pumpkins just cheap and available and therefore easy to exploit?

Don’t get me wrong, I like pumpkins just fine, preferably in a pie.

Now I might be a bit on board if raspberry was suddenly and literally the flavor of the month, but that is just a personal preference.

Madigan’s a great journalist

WGBY recently announced the retirement of long-time news host Jim Madigan and I would be remiss if I didn’t add my voices of the many who have sang his praises.

I first met Jim in 1979 when he was working at WLDM and I was the Westfield Evening News, as it was called then.

Jim has always been a true professional.

Over the years he has deservedly earned the respect of his fellow media professionals, as well as the many elected officials who sat next to him for an interview.

I would see him in passing when I was a regular guest of the WGBY’s “Watercooler” shows in the early 2000s and I have been honored that I was on “Connecting Point” several times to deliver opinion pieces and then to talk about my book “Fifteen Minutes with: Forty years of Interviews.”

Jim is always thorough and gracious to his guest, qualities that have served both him and his viewers well.

He is one of the good guys.

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