Cooler temperatures, great festivals, harvest and, of course, Thanksgiving are all significant signs of fall.
But for me I think all the great smells during this time of year helps make the season unique and wonderful. Burning leaves, for example. The smell of burning leaves is synonymous with the fall season.
The combines are rolling and as our farmers are cutting beans and shelling corn they leave a rich cloud of dust that has a very distinct smell to it. The last cut of hay seems to smell almost richer than that first cut in in the spring.
Even the road kill from all the activity in the fields that sends all those critters running for cover across our county roads and other thoroughfares leaves a very bad smell in the air, or under our cars and trucks, depending on how big and how long those carcasses have been on the road. WOOF!
Football season and other fall sports seem to have that unique smell to them, too. Mom always made us wash our own practice gear, and if my brothers and I skipped a couple of days those jerseys, T-shirts and socks could embarrass a homeless surfeit of skunk.
But without a doubt the signature smell of fall has to be … (say it with me) … PUMPKIN!
In recent years the pumpkin smell has managed to work its way into more things that I could ever imagine. First and foremost the pumpkin pie remains the best organic smell of the “Pumpkin-Smell-Family” (if you will). I make a killer pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving and let me tell you nobody has ever had anything bad to say after my dessert! (Although most are pasted out sleeping within minutes anyway.)
Second most popular and one that’s been around for a while are pumpkin candles. But in recent weeks I’ve come across some interesting uses for the spice. The New Bremen Pumpkinfest always has a wide assortment of things you can experience that have the spice featured in it. And honestly some I would have never imagined. Candy, pasta, vegetables, popcorn, pancake batter, coffee, whipped cream, honey, bread, and more.
According to Fortune magazine, since 2006, industry tracker Mintel has found that pumpkin as a beverage ingredient has grown 130 percent on U.S. menus. Since 2004, the use of pumpkin as a flavor in food on menus has increased ten-fold.
I recently discovered a new one that totally flipped me out, and I have to tell you it was pretty darn good — pumpkin beer.
While visiting the Moeller Brew Barn a couple of weeks ago I was introduced (asked to sample) their limited-time seasonal hit, “Pumpkin Farmhouse.” Did I mention it was BEER? Well, needless to say you didn’t have to ask this Irishman twice to sample any kind of beer, and although I’m partial to their Abbey Pilsner, I was floored by the refreshing taste of the Pumpkin Farmhouse.
According to an ABC story, the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago conducted a study “to investigate the impact of ambient olfactory stimuli upon sexual response in the human male.” In other words, they wanted to know what smells turn a man on. It turns out the aroma of pumpkin gets a man’s blood rushing more than any other.
So, here it comes ladies, right around the corner — Big Dan’s Pumpkin Perfume — Eau de Gourd … (coming this Christmas) LOL
The pumpkin smell will always be associated with the fall, but because this is such a wonderful season, maybe that’s why the use of it will become more of a year-round enjoyment.
Here’s seeing you in Ohio Country!
The writer is the owner of Wilson 1 Communications. He is an award-winning veteran broadcaster for more than 30 years and the co-host and producer of “In Ohio Country Today,” a nationally recognized television show, and offers radio commentary and ag reports including locally for 92.1, the Frog WFGF Lima.