Food Lifestyle

Pumpkin Spice Latte: what it is and American recipe

During the Halloween period, in America everything revolves around the pumpkin: it is incredible how a vegetable so common in our diet actually covers a predominant role in the culture of the New World. On the other hand, it is from there that it was imported by European settlers!

But, a legend of Jack-o’-lantern aside, what is a Pumpkin Spice Latte?

Probably Italians are a name that will postpone little or nothing, but for Americans, it is one of those must drinks, expected throughout the year and consumed with great greed.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: an idea from Starbucks

Since the 1970s, Starbucks has been offering its customers coffee prepared in various ways, as well as desserts and pastries. The secret of its success, probably, is to be found precisely in the intrinsic predisposition to innovation and change that has made this brand a world leader in the sector.

According to the sources, the Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe was developed in its laboratories in 2003, thanks to the success achieved by other seasonal coffee-based drinks already developed.

Peter Dukes, director of Espresso Americas at Starbucks, reported that the idea of ​​making room for the Pumpkin Spice Latte was confirmed by a brainstorm on a group of consumers who underwent 10 different products, just like in a test, also containing fairly common and palatable ingredients, such as chocolate and caramel. At the time there was nothing like it in circulation, especially pumpkin-based, so the surprise was great but extremely positive.

However, after a series of experiments in dosages and spices, the combination of ingredients that pumpkin saw as an integral part of the recipe was discarded, even if the name of the product did not change: it was immediately called by its current name, but the flavor of the vegetable was reproduced through a flavored sugar-based syrup, condensed skimmed milk, pumpkin puree, coloring, and preservatives.

This new recipe was then tested in Vancouver and Washington: success was epochal, sales exceeded all expectations and it was even necessary to make new inventories in the stores to keep up with the demand. The following year, the Pumpkin Spice Latte was sold by all Starbucks stores, becoming, in a very short time, the most famous branded seasonal drink: over 200 million glasses were sold between 2003 and 2015 and lots of commonly used products (as deodorants for the environment) they were inspired by its aromatic notes, also recalling its name.

Just in 2015, then, the definitive review of the recipe that introduced pumpkin instead of flavorings and colorings took place, giving life to a product that is certainly more genuine. This turning point was probably also due to a series of controversies that arose around the choice of Starbucks to use artificial substances in its recipe.

The formula for the success of the Pumpkin Spice Latte

80 million dollars a year, invoiced only in some seasons, there are many for a simple pumpkin-shaped latte. So where does the success of this product come from?

According to Forbes, in addition to the massive marketing campaigns undertaken, especially on a social level, the secret lies in the fact that “products that are available only for a limited period have a sort of integrated marketing that can grow in terms of impact over time “.

The echo was very strong and did not fail to generate emulation and admiration, even from other international brands, such as M & M’s or Dunkin ’Donuts.

But how can you taste this flavor, so famous overseas and impossible to find in European territories?

Let’s try with a recipe formulated starting from the original one!

The original American recipe of Pumpkin Spice Latte: ingredients and preparation

Following our advice, you can make a delicious Pumpkin Spice Latte directly at your home. The ingredients for 2 cups are:

  • 125 ml of water;
  • 75 grams of cane sugar (whole);
  • 50 grams of pumpkin puree (steamed and pureed pumpkin);
  • 400 ml of fresh milk (whole);
  • 2 cups of espresso (very strong);
  • Whipped Cream;
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 1 pinch of cloves, nutmeg and ginger powder;
  • 1 pinch pepper.

With the brown sugar and the water, a spicy syrup is prepared, bringing it to a boil over medium-low heat. Then add the spices and pumpkin purée.

At this point proceed almost as if it were a ragù: bring the flame to a minimum, mix well and, in the meantime, let it boil again for about ten minutes. This way you can get a homogeneous and sufficiently dense syrup!
At this point, let it cool in a glass jar: a couple of teaspoons per cup will be enough to get the right flavor!

The standard procedure, in fact, wants 2 teaspoons of spicy syrup, an espresso, warmed milk and, to finish, a tuft of whipped cream adorned with a veil of powdered cinnamon.

That’s all! The drink is served to stream and perfumed and is, by itself, capable of creating the perfect autumn atmosphere; that is why he is so loved in America!

Being a recipe based on all-natural ingredients, it is a delicacy that can be easily offered to children: the important thing is to keep the spicy syrup in the fridge and keep it ready for any occasion.

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