Great Food Search-Pumpkins!

Oct 26, 2013 | 2013 Articles, Terrance V. Mc Arthur, The Great Food Search

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Our roving food critic Terrance Mc Arthur continues his search for great food in Sanger and the surrounding communities. Check out more Great Food Search here!

They’re big…they’re round…they’re all around…..not “Pink Elephants on Parade,” but…PUMPKINS!

Those orangey globes of goodness are rolling your way, and they come in many forms (KRL had pumpkin latte recipes, already). Not that I have anything against jack-o-lanterns! I love an opportunity to stab something with a carving knife and not run the risk of jail time, but I want a pumpkin I can eat and so began the Great Pumpkin Food Search. This Food Quest sent me to fast-food emporiums, family restaurants, warehouse stores, and–oddly enough–college.

Pumpkin Smash Smoothie from Jamba Juice

Jamba Juice–Pumpkin Smash Smoothie–$4.59 (regular)
775 Bethel Ave., Ste. 108, Sanger (South of Jensen Ave.)
Robust and spritely, this blend of pumpkin and frozen yogurt (with a little cinnamon and nutmeg) is a good wake-me-up. It’s chilly and tasty, so it would go down nicely as you snuggle in a blanket by the fireplace…or under a room-heating vent.

McDonald’s–Pumpkin Pie–$.79
2761 Jensen Ave., Sanger (Inside Walmart Supercenter, SW of Jensen & Bethel)
Hand pie, mini-pie, whatever you call it, it’s nice to have a treat you can carry with you. This is a cousin to McDonald’s Apple pie, a rectangle with slashes across the top, only it isn’t ooey-gooey and drippy. You get it full of pumpkin filling in a pastry crust, sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. There’s a good taste to it, and it’s nice for the price. Nutritionally, it has more protein, less fat, and less sodium than the apple variety.

McDonald's Pumpkin Pie

Be careful about the time when you go to order these. I went to another branch of the chain, just to get a pie, and was told I’d have a 15-minute wait, but of course it was at lunchtime on a Saturday, so I shouldn’t have been surprised that they needed more time.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Shake from Jack in teh Box--with a cherry on top!

Jack in the Box–Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream Shake–$3.19 (regular)
1300 Jensen Ave., Sanger (NW Corner of Jensen & Academy)
I was all primed for a pumpkin shake at the place with the golden arches, a companion to the peppermint ones at Christmas and the Shamrock ones of March, but they weren’t on the menu, so I went down the street to see what Jack in the Box had to offer…

Aha! Pale but flavorful, topped with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry (Guys, give it to your date; it’s a gentlemanly gesture…but why are you at Jack’s for a date?), it’s served in a see-through cup.

IHOP–Pumpkin Pancakes
1100 Shaw Ave., Clovis (In front of Sierra Vista Mall)
Of course, it’s a pancake, but packed with the power of pumpkin. Soothing and tasty, light and fluffy, it smacks of fall on the farm, even if you were city-raised.

I heard about these on a special e-mail coupon offer, with a stack of four for $4.99 and a combo for $7.29. Your price may vary.

Fresno State's Pumpkin Ice Cream--More than you expect!

Fresno State Gibson Farm Market–Pumpkin Ice Cream–$5.09 (1/2 gallon)
5368 N. Chestnut Ave., Fresno (South of Barstow Ave.)
I’m telling you right out…this stuff should be called Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream, because it’s not just pumpkin, it’s the whole pie! There are chunks of piecrust frozen into the pumpkin-y goodness, here. On top of that, it’s a product of the dairy program at California State University, Fresno. Go Bulldogs!

…and I can’t forget…Costco–Pumpkin Pie!
This has been a traditional part of our holiday feasts for many years (Well, there was the year a sister of mine tried to make a pumpkin pie. It tasted…did you put milk in it? No…did you put eggs in it? No…did you put sugar in it? No…what DID you put in it? Pumpkin.), because the Costco pie is so big…and so good…and so cheap (It’s several times the size of some supermarket pies and only a dollar more!). I’d buy them all year round, if I could get them.

Face it. These are all good reminders of the passing of the seasons…and the reason my bathroom scale is marking new territory.

Check out more food articles and more of Terrance’s Great Food Search column in our Food Fun section.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a California-born, Valley-raised librarian/entertainer/writer. He lives in Sanger, four blocks from the library, with his wife, his daughter, and a spinster cat.


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