The Archaeology of Pumpkin Spice (Online)
Taught by Patty Hamrick
Patty Hamrick has an M.A. in Archaeological Anthropology from New York University. She has worked on excavations across Europe, Asia, and North America, including India, Cyprus, and Syria. She loves bringing her passion for the past to new people. You can follow her on twitter, @pluperfectpatty.
Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger: they blend together to form a delicious flavor that evokes cooler temperatures, flannel shirts, and falling leaves. But Pumpkin Spice wasn’t invented by Starbucks, and its history goes back much further than any pie.
In this talk, we’ll start by stirring together the trade in ginger in Ancient Rome, the importance of cloves in Ancient China, how cinnamon was tucked into the wrappings of Egyptian mummies, and how nutmeg was once used to buy the island of Manhattan. Next, we’ll add a dash of the evolution of pumpkins and their long path towards acceptance by European colonists in New England. Finally, we’ll mix in a cookbook from the 1700s with a recipe for “Pompkin Pudding” that hasn’t changed much in the two hundred and thirty years since. All together, it will make for a mouthwatering meal of history, culture, and biology!
You’ll come away with a new appreciation for Pumpkin Spice and the thousands of years that went into making your Christmas pie or autumn latte.