The Colonial history of Pumpkin Spice Lattes

    enSeptember 19, 2023

    Podcast Summary

    • Marketing's Powerful Impact on Consumer PreferencesMarketing can create strong associations and cravings, even for products we don't truly enjoy, leading to complex feelings and ethical dilemmas.

      Effective advertising can create strong associations and cravings, even for products we don't truly enjoy. The speaker's dislike for pumpkin spice lattes didn't stop her from buying one every year, due to the powerful visual and emotional triggers set off by the advertising. However, this annual purchase came with a sense of self-loathing and regret, as well as ethical concerns about the labor practices in Starbucks' coffee supply chain. The combination of coffee and pumpkin spices, while popular, doesn't work well together due to their competing bitterness and texture. The speaker's reflection on this experience highlights the complex relationship between marketing, consumer behavior, and personal values.

    • The history of coffee and European crops in North AmericaCoffee's global spread and European settlers' challenges in North America are interconnected stories marked by competition, colonization, and survival. Early Europeans faced difficulties adapting to unfamiliar crops and diseases, while Native Americans played a crucial role in their survival.

      The history of coffee and the introduction of European crops to North America are interconnected stories marked by competition, colonization, and survival. Coffee, originating in Ethiopia, was a closely guarded resource until the Dutch figured out how to grow it outside of Africa in the 15th century. Meanwhile, Central American crops like pumpkins were domesticated thousands of years before European arrival. When English pilgrims came to North America in the 1600s, they faced numerous challenges, including unfamiliar crops and diseases. It was a Native American man named Tisquantum, who had been kidnapped and taught English, who helped the pilgrims survive by teaching them how to adapt to the new environment. The story of coffee's global spread and the challenges faced by early European settlers in North America are thus intertwined, with each shaping the other's history.

    • A harvest feast between pilgrims and natives in 1621, with the natives teaching the pilgrims about growing corn, beans, and pumpkins together.The first Thanksgiving celebrated the native Americans' teachings on agriculture and the beginning of cultural exchange between Europeans and Native Americans, leading to iconic American foods like pumpkin pie.

      The first Thanksgiving in 1621 was a harvest feast between the English pilgrims and the native Americans in Massachusetts. The native Americans taught the pilgrims about the "Three Sisters" method of growing corn, beans, and pumpkins together. The pilgrims were grateful for this knowledge as they had been struggling to survive in the new world. The native Americans also showed the importance of pumpkins, which they used in various ways, including for food and storage. However, as the English colonies grew, their tastes and practices differed from the native Americans. The English began making a sweet, spiced milk drink inside pumpkins, which later evolved into pumpkin pie. This unique American taste of Thanksgiving, represented by pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes, is a reminder of the cultural exchange and adaptation that took place during the early history of the United States.

    • The origin of pumpkin carving for Halloween in North AmericaIrish immigrants used pumpkins instead of turnips for Jack-o-lanterns, leading to the popular autumn tradition. Drew Barrymore's actions during the Writers Guild of America strike highlighted a generational privilege issue.

      The tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween in North America actually originated from Irish immigrants who couldn't find turnips, a common material for Jack-o-lanterns in Ireland, and instead used the scraps of English pumpkins. This discovery was made during a day of research by an individual who was enjoying a pumpkin spice latte in Ireland, leading them to reflect on the history of this popular autumn beverage. Another intriguing observation made during this research was the actions of Hollywood actress Drew Barrymore during the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike. Despite the backlash, the researcher felt that Barrymore's cluelessness about the significance of crossing a picket line suggested a level of generational privilege. This led to a moment of deep reflection, connecting the historical discovery with a current social issue.

    • Uncovering Family History Through Pattern RecognitionDuring a moment of pattern recognition, the speaker discovered their great-grandfather's connection to Drew Barrymore's acting dynasty and the British East India Company's role in the spice trade.

      The speaker experiences intense moments of pattern recognition, often compared to the film "A Beautiful Mind," which they now recognize as being related to their artistic focus. During one such moment, while holding a pumpkin spice latte and watching a Drew Barrymore apology video, they had a deep feeling of connection between the two, leading them to discover Drew Barrymore's acting dynasty that traces back to the 1800s. The speaker's great-grandfather, Herbert Arthur Blythe, was a famous British actor who invented the surname Barrymore to avoid being identified as Herbert Arthur Blythe on stage. The British East India Company played a significant role in the colonization of India and the spice trade during the 1600s and 1800s, and the speaker's great-grandfather, William Edward Blythe, was a surveyor for the British East India Company. The speaker's intense feelings of connection led them to uncover this historical information. This experience highlights the speaker's unique ability to recognize patterns and the depth of their artistic inspiration.

    • The origins of Pumpkin Spice Latte's key spices can be traced back to the British East India Company's colonization and spice trade in Southeast Asia.The Pumpkin Spice Latte's spices, including nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, have historical roots in the British East India Company's spice trade in Southeast Asia.

      The popularity of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and its key spices, which include nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, can be traced back to the British East India Company's colonization and spice trade in Southeast Asia. Drew Barrymore's ancestry is connected to this history, as her great great great grandfather was a surveyor for the British East India Company. The spices used in the Pumpkin Spice Latte are indigenous to Southeast Asia and were traded around the world by the British East India Company, eventually reaching North America. This historical context sheds light on why these specific spices are used in the latte and why Drew Barrymore may not fully understand the implications of labor strikes. Additionally, the speaker encourages listeners to make their own pumpkin spice lattes using fresh pumpkin puree and the correct preparation of coffee to enhance the flavor.

    • Exploring unique twists on popular drinks and supporting local cafesExperimenting with new drink recipes and supporting local businesses can bring joy and comfort, while avoiding toxic online spaces and promoting positive discussions helps maintain personal well-being.

      Creating your own unique twist on popular drinks, like a pumpkin spice latte without coffee or trying a turmeric latte, can result in a delicious and comforting beverage experience. Additionally, supporting local cafes and avoiding toxic online spaces, especially when it comes to discussions around sensitive topics like sexual assault allegations, is important for personal well-being. The text also highlights the disappointment of watching someone you admire face disturbing allegations and the negative impact of online cultures on these discussions. Lastly, discovering and appreciating lesser-known authors and their works, even if their covers may be disturbing, can provide a sense of joy and connection.

    • Online weight loss consultations and LinkedIn job huntingPlushCare offers online weight loss consultations with certified physicians to prescribe FDA approved medications, while LinkedIn connects professionals to potential employers, with over 70% of users not visiting other job sites. Support creators financially to keep their content flowing.

      PlushCare offers online access to board certified physicians who can prescribe FDA approved weight loss medications like Wegovy and Zepbound, making it a convenient option for those looking to start a weight loss plan. Meanwhile, LinkedIn is a valuable resource for hiring professionals, as over 70% of its users don't visit other leading job sites, potentially providing access to candidates who aren't actively looking for new opportunities. The podcast also emphasizes the importance of supporting creators financially, allowing them to continue producing content and maintaining their independence. Additionally, the speaker is embarking on a UK tour and has revealed the cover of his new book, "Topography Hyparnica," designed in the Toil de Joy style.

    • The significance of a book coverA book's cover should accurately represent its content to attract readers and reflect the author's vision.

      The importance of a book cover should reflect the content within, as the author shared his experience of having unsatisfactory covers for his first two books that didn't represent the stories inside. He emphasized that people do judge books by their covers, and for his latest book, "Topographia Hypernicas," he put significant effort into creating an appropriate and meaningful cover design. Additionally, the author discussed his fascination with food and how it can serve as a structure for historical stories, sharing an intriguing example of a unique food preservation practice in China called "virgin boy eggs," which despite its oddity, is deeply rooted in their culture.

    • Unique and unusual foods from around the worldPeople's cravings and food cultures can transcend legal and societal norms, as seen in Casu Marzu from Corsica, Fool's Gold Loaf from Elvis Presley's era, and Mala spice bag from Ireland.

      There are unique and unusual foods from different parts of the world that people love despite the circumstances surrounding them. Casu Marzu, a sheep's milk cheese from Corsica, is an example of this, as it contains live maggots and is both illegal and beloved by the people of Corsica. Another example is the Fool's Gold Loaf, a sandwich made famous by Elvis Presley's cravings and consisting of a large loaf filled with peanut butter, jam, and a pound of fried bacon. In Ireland, there's a secret Chinese restaurant in Limerick called Carnival, where a dish called Mala spice bag stands out. This spice bag is unlike any other in the country, with a smoky, unusual taste that's hard to forget. Despite the controversy surrounding MSG, a flavor enhancer found in the Mala spice bag and other foods, it's a natural component found in various foods like tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. The unique and unusual tastes of these foods show that people's cravings and food cultures can transcend legal and societal norms.

    • Mala Spice from Sichuan and Mother's Day Offers at Whole FoodsExperience the intense numbing sensation of Mala spice from Sichuan. For Mother's Day, save on body care, candles, flowers, and special desserts at Whole Foods.

      The Mala spice from Sichuan, China, is known for its numbing sensation caused by Sichuan peppercorns. This spice also has a smoky flavor, reminiscent of burnt fire lighters. The Mala spice bag, which comes in a box despite its name meaning "bag" in Irish, is a unique and intense dish from Limerick City. On a different note, Mother's Day is approaching, and Whole Foods Market offers various premium gifts, flowers, and desserts for an unforgettable celebration. Take advantage of savings such as 33% off body care and candles with Prime, and a 15 stem bunch of tulips for just $9.99 with Prime. Complete your Mother's Day menu with festive rose, berry chantilly cake, and other special treats.

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