Wednesday is the most wonderful day of the year for those who are fond of a particular orange squash known as Cucurbita pepo.
Oct. 26 is National Pumpkin Day.
The pumpkin is in the same family as squash, cucumbers and melons. Its popularity peaks in fall, when it is used for jack o’ lanterns at Halloween. In November, the orange fruit is commonly used in pumpkin pies.
The pumpkin also is associated with the ever-popular “pumpkin spice,” which appears in everything from lattes to cereal.
Number of pounds of pumpkins grown annually in the US
Source: US Department of Energy
And guess what? Pumpkin spice is a blend of spices that contains absolutely zero pumpkin. It is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, sugar, cloves and allspice. It can basically be made in any kitchen for very little money. To reiterate, there’s no pumpkin in your pumpkin spice latte. It’s a flavor profile based on the spices that go into pumpkin pie.
In celebration of National Pumpkin Day, here’s your guide to all things pumpkin:
Church of the Redeemer Pumpkin Patch
1904 Popp’s Ferry Road in Biloxi
9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-7 p.m. Sundays
Trinity Pumpkin Patch
West Beach Boulevard and Church Avenue in Pass Christian
10 a.m until dark daily through Halloween
Seward Farms Corn Maze and Family Fun
Tanner Williams Road in Lucedale
10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturdays through Nov. 5.
Corn maze, pig races, hayrides, cow train, tube slide, corn cannon, farm animals, goat walk, pony rides and field of freight
$12 ages 3 and older. 228-641-3936
Pumpkin spice items 2016
Pumpkin spice latte — Starbucks, McDonald’s
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Pumpkins Spice Oreos
Pumpkin Spice Silk soy eggnog
Pumpkin spice doughnuts — Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ Donuts
Pumpkin Spice Mini-Wheats
Pumpkin Spice Milano (cookies)
Pumpkin Spice Chobani Greek Yogurt
Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds
Ghirardelli Pumpkin Spice Caramels