This fall, think beyond the pumpkin spice latte. It's time to embrace other pumpkin-based dishes.
What follows are five great pumpkin offerings in Miami. They range from savory to sweet. There are pastas, soups, desserts, and much more.
5. Pumpkin amaretto sorrentino from Mr. Pasta
As we've previously reported, Mr. Pasta specializes in one thing: pasta. Owner Jorge Stekelorum proffers a slew of varieties, but during the fall, we prefer the pumpkin and amaretto sorrentino -- like ravioli, only round. Their filling is sweet and slightly nutty. Top them with marinara or a cream sauce for extra decadence.
4. Pumpkin Soup at Tap Tap
Pumpkin soups make cameos across the city, but Tap Tap keeps it good and simple. There's no need for crème fraîche or other add-ons. The Haitian restaurant in South Beach serves a bowl of rich, root vegetable-heavy soup ($6) year-round. It's beyond tasty -- with bits of potatoes, carrots, celery, and pumpkin.
3. Prawns in red curry with pumpkin at Tamarind Thai
This Thai dish ($16.95) fuses red curry, coconut milk, and prawns with pumpkin. It's such a speciality that it's not even listed on the regular menu. Check it out on the special "Chef's Choices" menu that adorns Tamarind Thai's tables.
2. Gucamole de Calabaza at Mercadito Midtown
If you think guacamole is holy, wait until you try this one. It's made with bits of cinnamon spice-marinated pumpkin and pepitas. As if that weren't enough, Mercadito also serves pumpkin soup and pumpkin flan. But really, what's more comforting than a giant bowl of guacamole with squash?
1. Pumpkin Whoopie Pie at Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe
Local food blogger Fatgirl Hedonist became our hero when she asked her favorite Hialeah bakery to create this whoopie pie. She explains:
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In previous years, they had made a pumpkin whoopie pie during the fall that I loved. I hadn't seen it in a while, so I shot them a tweet asking about it. They asked if it was a request and I said, "Hell yeah." They asked me what filling should go into it and I decided on dulce de leche with pecans for some crunch. I also recently suggested a maple bacon and pumpkin whoopie pie and they said they would test it out.
If they don't have this variety when you visit, have no fear. Other whoopies ($2.75 to $3) feature Nutella buttercream and malted milk crisps. On a recent trip, we also tried a pumpkin ale cupcake. There's no losing here.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst