When the calendar turns to October, I’m one of those people who eagerly puts up my Halloween decorations, peruses pumpkin patches and scopes out the aisles of Trader Joe’s for new and returning pumpkin-flavored foods. For those of you in a similar state of mind, we bring you a running roundup of Peninsula pumpkin dishes and drinks both sweet and savory to stoke that fall feeling.
Bonjour Bakehouse's pumpkin dulce was recommended by a reader. The eatery's website describes it as "the union of the best dulce de leche and your favorite pumpkin puree." The dulce is sold in a 12-ounce jar online and for in-store pickup and has no preservatives, additives or coloring.
Bonjour Bakehouse, 1007 Howard Ave., San Mateo; 650-305-1448.
Cudos has a pumpkin pecan crunch frozen custard as its special of the month, featuring pumpkin pie sauce, candied pecans and pretzels. The Palo Alto shop is also offering a pumpkin spice latte concrete special, frozen custard blended with pumpkin pie sauce, coffee sauce and mini marshmallows.
Cudos, 855 El Camino Real #160, Palo Alto.
Find pumpkin food and drinks galore at the 50th annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival Oct. 15-16, the marquee fall event on the Peninsula. Foods include pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cake rolls, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin milkshake smoothies, chicken pumpkin sausages, pumpkin ravioli, pumpkin-spiced cotton candy, macaroni and cheese with pumpkin seeds and spice, and nachos with pumpkin salsa. Sip on cocktails like the Pumpkin Whisky Smash and Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale.
Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 15-16 on Main Street in Half Moon Bay.
You could build your own pumpkin-based tasting menu with the offerings at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company this fall, which include a kale salad with pumpkin seeds, Brussels sprouts and a raspberry vinaigrette; a pumpkin-panko salmon topped with a honey soy glaze and served with mashed potatoes, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts; and housemade pumpkin cheesecake. Pumpkin drink options include the Pumpkin Harvest Ale, a pale ale made with locally grown sugar pie pumpkins that are roasted with a secret blend of spices, and pumpkin beer floats with vanilla ice cream and the ale.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, 390 Capistrano Road, Princeton by the Sea; 650-728-2739.
Humphry Slocombe is selling a pumpkin galette ice cream swirled with caramel that’s available in scoops and pints. The ice cream chain opened a Redwood City location over the summer.
Humphry Slocombe, 2077 Broadway, Redwood City; 650-995-7229.
It’s-It Ice Cream has pumpkin ice cream sandwiches that can be purchased online or in stores, as well as at its factory shop in Burlingame. Pumpkin diehards can buy them by the case, 24 for $24.
It’s-It Ice Cream, 865 Burlway Road, Burlingame; 800-345-1928.
Romolo’s Cannoli plans to have pumpkin cream cannolis and pumpkin ice cream available starting this weekend, with the goal of selling them through November. Its cannoli shells and ricotta filling are housemade, and cannolis are filled to order.
Mazzetti’s Bakery is your home for pumpkin cannolis, pies, muffins, coffeecake, cheesecake, cupcakes and pound cakes, plus a chocolate cake filled with chocolate buttercream that’s decorated to look like a pumpkin. Their pumpkin cannolis, cheesecake and pies are most popular.
Mazzetti’s Bakery, 101 Manor Drive, Pacifica, 650-355-1007.
Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant is making homemade pumpkin ravioli at the nearly 30-year-old eatery just north of Half Moon Bay. They serve Southern Italian dishes with a California influence.
Mezza Luna Italian Restaurant https://www.mezzalunabythesea.com, 459 Prospect Way, Princeton by the Sea; 650-728-8108.
Pie Ranch is baking and selling pumpkin pies through the end of October. They also have carving pumpkins from Pescadero farm Brisa Ranch for sale.
Pie Ranch, 2080 Green Oaks Way, Pescadero.
Pumpkin curry is often a year-round menu item at local Thai restaurants, including Amarin Thai in Mountain View (a reader's favorite pumpkin-based dish on the Peninsula), Isarn Garden Thai Cuisine in San Carlos, Karakade Thai Cuisine in Redwood City and White Elephant Restaurant in South San Francisco.
Pumpkin spice lattes can be found at coffee shops throughout the Peninsula, including Bitter + Sweet in Cupertino, Granola's Coffee House in Half Moon Bay and Saltwater Bakery, a gluten-free and dairy-free bakery in Pacifica. Verve Coffee Roasters inPalo Alto has a pumpkin pie latte that's made with pumpkin puree for a more pumpkin-heavy flavor. Voyager Craft Coffee in Cupertino and Santa Clara will be debuting a to-be-announced pumpkin beverage the week of Oct. 10.
Rosalind Bakery is selling pumpkin muffins and cinnamon rolls and a pumpkin cheesecake Danish daily. They also offer a pumpkin spice latte, but the Pacifica bakery says the flavor is more akin to pumpkin pie.
Rosalind Bakery, 450 Manor Plaza, Pacifica; 650-898-8636.
Sibby's Cupcakery is making a pumpkin-spice cupcake through November, and next month they'll sell a pumpkin cheesecake cupcake as their mashup flavor. The cupcakes are baked to order from scratch.
Sibby's Cupcakery, 716 South Railroad Ave., San Mateo; 415-613-4373.
Spread the Love Jams & Jellies is selling pumpkin pear butter online, at the monthly Harvard Community Market and at the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival. Owner and jam-maker Marilyn Johnson recommends making “pumpkin cheesecake on the fly” with a graham cracker, a little cream cheese and a dollop of pumpkin pear butter.
Spread the Love Jams & Jellies, 650-799-9141.
State of Mind Slice House has a salad with pumpkin vinaigrette on its new fall menu. The Ripple includes greens, cotija cheese, red onion, dried cranberries, quinoa and pepitas.
State of Mind Slice House, 3850 El Camino Real, Palo Alto; 650-384-6369.
Sweet Diplomacy, a gluten-free patisserie in Los Altos, has debuted the Self-Care Chocolate Muffin fall flavor, which is made with cocoa and flax seeds and studded with chocolate ships, cranberries and pumpkin seeds.
Sweet Diplomacy, 209 1st St., Los Altos; 650-800-3816.
Julia Brown is the editor for TheSixFifty.com, a sister publication of the Palo Alto Weekly