6 places to get a real taste of pumpkin this season

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I might be facing pumpkin spice overload. It’s a shame, really. I usually love the arrival of pumpkin spice “whatever” and take it as a sign that boots, cooler temperatures and bonfires aren’t far behind. But when I took my dog to the groomer’s and saw a stack of pumpkin spice flavored dog chews by the cash register, even I thought that was a bit much.

Fortunately, processed pumpkin products aren’t the only option for getting a taste of fall. It won’t be long before Charlotte restaurants follow suit with delightful pumpkin inspired dishes, and they know how to do it right!

Here are 6 ways (and places) to get a real taste of pumpkin this season:

A bowl of pumpkin

Now that it’s officially fall, having soup for lunch or dinner is a great way to embrace the season.

Try: Amelie’s Pumpkin Bisque Soup. It’s a cream-based soup made with pumpkin purée and is offered as seasonal vegetarian option. It’s on sale now but keep in mind soups rotate daily.

Amelie’s: 2424 N Davidson St. and other locations

A vegan pumpkin dessert

A bit of fall for the sweet tooth. 

Try: Fern, Flavors from the Garden’s Vegan Pumpkin cashew mousse with a cherry compote, aquafaba meringue, toasted pumpkin seeds and a vegan molasses sugar cookie. It’s on the menu starting Friday.

Fern, Flavors from the Garden: 1419 East Blvd., Suite A

Pumpkin with beer

Because, why not?

Try: FuManChu CupCakes’ Boxed Car Pumpkin Porter Cupcake.They use a Star Hill Boxcar Pumpkin Porter with a Saigon Cinnamon and Cinnamon Whiskey icing. It’s on sale now until the end of October.

FuManChu CupCakes: 826 Lamar Ave.

Pumpkin where you least expect it

Grab a sweet bite of pumpkin as you walk among the ghosts and ghouls of SCarowinds. It gives you something to munch on while you’re waiting in lines.

Try: Carowinds’ Pumpkin Cheesecake Fudge and Pumpkin Pie Walnut Fudge. It’s on sale at Carowinds’ Carolina Candy Store. 

SCarowinds:  14523 Carowinds Blvd.

A twist on the pumpkin spice latte

Pumpkin spice lattes are available at almost any coffee shop this time of year. Don’t be a follower.

Try: Nova’s Bakery’s Pumpkin Chai Latte. It’s made with real pumpkin puree and is on sale now. 

Nova’s Bakery: 1515 South Blvd. and 1511 Central Ave.

Traditional pumpkin fare with flair

Several Charlotte restaurants will soon start serving up pumpkin ravioli on their specials list, but have you though about pumpkin raviolis with cookies? 

Try: Vivace’s Pumpkin ravioli with amaretti cookies and sage butter. The filling is made with three different squashes and pumpkin, slow roasted with butter, pureed and hung over night to remove moisture. Ground amaretti cookies are added into the puree to sweeten it, along with parmesan cheese, ground walnuts and brown butter. It’s on the menu beginning Oct. 6.

Vivace: 1100 Metropolitan Ave. #100

Photos: Amelie’s, Fern, FuManChu CupCakes, Carowinds, Nova’s Bakery, Vivace

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