LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Great Pumpkin has a new target: your stomach. But, what's spurred the explosion in pumpkin popularity?
The changing color of leaves is no longer the only sign that fall has officially arrived. Instead, the real sign autumn is here, pumpkin flavored everything. At Loblolly Creamery located in the SOMA district of Downtown Little Rock Owner, Sally Mengle says it's the flavor of choice.
"Oh my God, pumpkin is so popular this time of year, it's crazy. Anything pumpkin that we have goes really quick," said Mengle.
In central Arkansas, ice cream makers, craft brewers and bakeries have all caught the bug. Mengle says Loblolly Creamery is serving up pumpkin spice ice cream, milk shakes and even sodas. "You can do everything delicious with pumpkin. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin milk shakes, pumpkin puree, pumpkin cookies, pumpkin everything."
Also, in downtown Little Rock, Diamond Bear Brewing is working on something special just for Halloween night. Bonz Rogers, with Diamond Bear says this firkin is loaded with a pumpkin porter that will only be served at Mellow Mushroom on October 31st.
"I think it started off as you know, maybe a few people making them here and there. Then everybody decided they wanted to make one, so there's a lot of them out there."
At Cupcakes on Kavanaugh the smell of pumpkin spice hits you the moment you walk in the door. Owner Christy Milligan makes her pumpkin cupcakes from scratch, using her grandmother's recipe and real pumpkin.
"It's a feeling, I think when you hear pumpkin, then you taste anything made with pumpkin is just a feeling home, it just makes them feel happy."
Pumpkin mentions on chain restaurant menus is up 38 percent in the past two years.