The Great Fall Flavor Debate: Apple v. Pumpkin

One beloved season. Two iconic flavors.

There are lots of strong opinions on which flavor is the be-all and end-all of autumn. Which side do you fall on? (ba dum tss)

 Which dominated first – the pumpkin or the apple?

You may find this shocking, but history indicates that pumpkin pie (of sorts) and apples were introduced to America around the same time.

The only apple that is native to North America is the crabapple. The traditional apples we enjoy today are descendants of saplings brought over from England by the Plymouth settlers in 1620.

The Plymouth settlers were also known to fill and bake hollowed pumpkins with a sweet mixture of honey and spices, a.k.a. the earliest known version of pumpkin pie. Thus, it seems the debate can’t be settled by seniority, as both fall treats emerged around the same time.

Which is more popular during the holidays?

In the case of holiday desserts, pumpkin pie reigns supreme. According to numerous consumer surveys, pumpkin pie is the number one Thanksgiving dessert. It’s closely followed by pecan, leaving apple to take third place at the dessert table.

However, apples are popular even outside the holiday season. After all, they are the second most consumed fruit in America year-round.

Which is better in coffee?

Some may think it a silly question, but coffee is perhaps the biggest reason pumpkin spice is as popular as it is! The rise in popularity of pumpkin-flavored-everything can largely be credited to the creation of the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte in 2003.

Prior to this year, most people probably thought exclusively of pumpkin when they pictured fall coffee flavors. But Starbucks is feeding into the pumpkin-apple conflict with the introduction of their apple crisp drink this year. Pumpkin now has steep some competition in the coffee realm.

Where does Washington state stand on the debate?

You may be wondering if the preference for apples or pumpkins varies by region. That’s likely true, but where does that leave Washington state? We’re the nation’s top apple-producing state, yet the home of the pumpkin spice latte’s creator, Starbucks. Not to mention, both apple orchards and pumpkin patches speckle the area.

According to an analysis by coffee site Roasty earlier this year, Washington had the most internet searches for “pumpkin spice latte” of any state this year before the drink even came out. Regardless of which is better, one thing is for sure: Washingtonians are pumpkin. obsessed.

Which one is healthier?

Regardless of which side you take, you can rest assured you’re making a healthy choice. That is, if you’re eating actual pumpkin and not just pumpkin-flavored pastries. In their natural form, both apples and pumpkins are full of beneficial vitamins and nutrients that will help you thrive all season long.

 So, where does all of that leave the debate?

With overwhelming evidence in favor of both sides, it seems this debate will not be agreed upon any time soon. Only you can decide for yourself!

Go ahead. Hash it out amongst your coworkers.