It’s not exactly breaking news that there’s nothing even faintly resembling strawberries in a McDonalds Strawberry Shake. It may be a monument to modern culinary science and American ingenuity, but it’s a strawberry shake in name only…not the most of America knows or care. And don’t even get me started on Chicken McNuggets….
One of the (not so) great things about America is that the gap between “real” and “artificial” can be so exceedingly thin as to be virtually indistinguishable. We’re a country fairly built of imitations of the real thing, from food (fast but not good) to music (cover bands) to news (Fox News Channel) to…well, you can pretty much name it and it’s a good bet that some budding entrepreneur has discovered how to imitate it and mass produce it for less than the real thing. It’s such a pervasive fact of American life that it’s often something of a surprise when you actually come across something real.
It should come as no surprise, then, that there’s no pumpkin in your Pumpkin Spice Latte. I know; I had to be the one to crush what little remaining faith in humanity you may have had, but sometimes the truth sucks. At least the news isn’t as bad as the chemical concoction that is a McDonalds Strawberry Shake (or Chicken McNuggets), but it’s still not real. In fact, most pumpkin-flavored products featured this time of year are blends of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and pumpkin pie spice instead of actual, honest-to-God pumpkin.
Man, the next thing they’ll be telling me is that the pumpkin pie I adore is pumpkin-free. What is this country coming to?