As we enter the fall months, bakeries and coffee shops are bringing back one of the most loved flavours- pumpkin spice. Be it pumpkins spice cookies, or pumpkin spice coffee, and a large portion of the public loves it. For the uninitiated, pumpkin spice has nothing to do with pumpkins. Pumpkin spice is the mixture of spices made for pumpkin pie using cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and allspice. Nowadays, this spice is not only limited to pies; you can get pumpkin spiced lattes, pumpkin spice cookies and even pumpkin spice oreos.
If hollywoodbets accepted bets on food choices, people could bet money on the pumpkin flavoured goodies to be a hit among the people every time it hits the market. So what is the reason for this popularity? Even though the spice doesn’t even have the ingredient it is named after, why is it that people love it so much? Well, here is what researchers have to say on the matter.
Researchers from Dynamic Perception Labs, at John Hopkins University, say that the part of the brain that processes smells is very closely related to the part of the brain that is responsible for memories. So smelling a pumpkin-spiced product is not so much about hunger as it is about nostalgia. The smell of the products reminds you of the good times that you have had during the fall, be it Halloween celebrations or celebrating with your friends and family. Moreover, as the chill sets in, people get out their sweaters, and that feeling of being warm is always a cosy feeling. Whenever people get a taste of that pumpkin spice, it automatically transports them back to times when they were busy having fun, and that is enough to bring a smile to your face. This is often the reason why these delicacies become a huge hit among the people.
Another psychologist tries to explain it more clearly by telling us about the fact that eating foods that are attached to certain memories result in a release of dopamine, which is the happy hormone. Even if you don’t consciously remember your memories, your brain comes up with the feelings associated with the memories, and sends you signals to be happy.
Even in general, people love the fall weather, because the weather is just perfect- it is not hot enough to make you feel as if you are burning, and it is not chilly enough to make you want to hibernate. The moderate weather in itself is a feel-good factor, which your memories hold on to.
So don’t wait anymore to try out the pumpkin pie, or the pumpkin spice cookies that you have been craving recently. Yes, those goodies might not be the healthiest options around, since they are high in sugar. But you deserve a reward from time to time, and craving these products is your brain’s way of trying to reward you with fuzzy feelings. So go ahead and enjoy a taste of fall without holding yourself back!