While trendy foods come and go (we’re looking at you, avocado) the pumpkin may be forever. It dominates the fall season and relentlessly makes its way into every food group. Yes, sometimes the season can be a little aggressive, especially when it comes to making just about everything with pumpkin. But before you knock it or dare use the word basic, try some of these hot spots for pumpkin spice in Manitoba…
Sweets: Chocolatier Constance Popp and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
If you’re already tempted by the Halloween candy stocked on shelves in your local supermarket, start your pumpkin spice tour with some chocolate shops that do seasonal sweets right. St. Boniface’s Chocolatier Constance Popp is conjuring up pumpkin spice macarons (with an open house on October 1 during Culture Days) while St. Vital Mall’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is serving up mouth-watering pumpkin fudge. Yep, pumpkin makes (almost) everything better.
Ice cream: Cornell Creme, Jenna Rae Cakes and Sargent Sundae
Listen – ice cream intake doesn’t just come to a halt as summer ends. If anything, autumn brings forth new ways to enjoy this classic dessert. The folks at Cornell Creme are the experts when it comes to artisan ice cream, made with fresh milk straight from the farm. They also happen to make a killer pumpkin patch ice cream, which you can find at Vic’s Fruit Market. Jenna Rae Cakes of Academy Road in Winnipeg takes Cornell Creme’s flavour to the next level – incorporating it into their legendary ice cream sandwiches. Sargent Sundae is known for their creamy, soft serve pumpkin ice cream which happens to be perfect for taking on a leisurely fall stroll through the nearby Assiniboine Park.
Cafe eats: Wildflower Cafe and Thom Bargen
Move aside, Starbucks. Since the PSL rose to fame, coffee shops all over the province (and world) have been creating their own pumpkin renditions to join in on the best taste of the season. Wildflower Cafe of Brandon, Manitoba has gone pumpkin crazy with Chilean pumpkin soup, pumpkin tarts, pumpkin soufflé, pumpkin lattes and even pumpkin smoothies! Winnipeg’s Tom Bargen takes a slightly more traditional route with mini pumpkin pies and a Guatemalan espresso with their house made pumpkin.
Warm garb and goods
Candles, cups and knickknacks: Forks Trading Post, Indoor Farmers’ Markets and Craft shows
As outdoor farmers’ markets come to a close, vendors head indoors to show their fares. Craft sales and Indoor Farmers’ Markets are particularly good for stocking up on fall essentials: circle scarves, knit mittens, moccasins and home made jams and spreads. The Forks Trading Post is where you can find local products such as Coal and Canary candles (now with new fall scents), hats, handmade coffee mugs and slippers to keep you warm as the temperatures drop.
Cozy and stylish fashion: Out of the Blue
If there’s anything that autumn lovers more than pumpkin spice, it’s fall fashion. Out of the Blue, located in Osborne Village, Winnipeg, catches my eye every fall for their knack for putting together the coziest fall outfits with all the essentials: knits, leathers and plenty of maroons, oranges and browns.
Deer Meadow Farms
Immerse yourself fully in the pumpkin spice tour by discovering the origins of the flavour. That’s right, we’re talking about visiting a pumpkin patch. Deer Meadows Farm offers locally grown pumpkins that you can select and weigh on an authentic 100 year old scale. Wear your favourite shade of orange for a photo in the pumpkin shack or head to the petting zoo to meet the adorable fallow deer and farm animals.
A Bend in the Willow
A Bend in the Willow Gift Shop & Tea Room is a cozy getaway in Forrest, Manitoba (minutes north of Brandon) where you can sip tea and nosh on pumpkin scones or cheesecake. Once you have your fill, wander out to the pumpkin patch to select the perfect match for your front step.
Schwabe Pumpkins picks more than 7000lbs of pumpkins each year trying to keep up with the pumpkin spice trend – or at least that’s what we’d like to believe. This cute pumpkin patch is located 20 minutes outside of Winnipeg on 1160 Meadowdale Rd off highway 8 and offers everything a pumpkin lover could want, included knit hats for your beloved orange friend (that you can borrow it from time to time, too).
Meandher Creek Pumpkin Patch
You will feel right at home surrounded by pumpkins in Meandher Creek Pumpkin Patch, where you can soar down a zipline, find your way through the corn trail and try some home made pumpkin pie. And if you’re a little tired of pumpkins at this point in your tour, try the pumpkin slingshot out. It will be very satisfying.