The association is simple:
Pumpkin = Squash
Squash = Pinakbet
Pinakbet = Ulam (viand)
Therefore, pumpkin = ulam… and not dessert!
My apprehension to try Pumpkin Pie for the first time could then be understandable I suppose. I grew up associating pumpkin puree as baby food or a delicious soup starter. But dessert? Not quite, not quite.
My Aunt is a Pumpkin Pie addict though, and she told me Bakers Square had the best. So off we went to the restaurant, where I decided to give this pie a try! (This was during my L.A. vacation, by the way.)
Surprisingly, no visions of sauteed vegetables danced in my head when I bit into a forkful of Pumpkin Pie. While I’m open to new food experiences, I was finding it extremely hard to reconcile pumpkin with dessert. Call me weird!
I couldn’t quite explain the flavor at first. But with each forkful, I started to appreciate the sweetness of the pumpkin mixed with the “zing” of the pie’s spices (cinnamon? cloves? ginger?). I found myself nodding more and more with each forkful. I was getting to know Pumpkin Pie. It wasn’t so so bad after all.
The cold pie topped with whipped cream was perfect with a cup of hot brewed coffee. Yummy! I started to appreciate pumpkin pie more and more, and by the time I realized that I did like it — there wasn’t a morself left on my plate.
My immediate apprehension to associate pumpin with dessert can be likened to my cousin-in-law’s aversion to avocados as dessert. He grew up in the States identifying avocado more as a vegetable, liking it in his sandwiches and salads. But when mixed with milk and sugar, and served over ice? Nah. He tried it once and didn’t like it very much. Avocado ice candy probably grosses him out!
The associations are different for me now. While “pumpkin” still immediately brings a pot of hot-cooked pinakbet to mind, I already can picture pumpkins as dessert too. Thanks to my Aunt for introducing me to it. I just wish so badly that I can find a bakeshop here in Manila that serves good pumpkin pie! (Do you guys have any leads? )
How about you? Do you like Pumpkin Pie? Are you serving it for Halloween and Thanksgiving? Tell me about your Pumpkin Pie please! I am suddenly a convert.