Ah, pumpkin spice…a flavor we all know but can’t admit to loving because it’s the most ‘basic’ thing in the world next to Instagramming your new pair of Ugg boots. Ever since Starbucks released the Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, the pumpkin spice craze has changed the way we look at this orange veggie. We now have pumpkin spice everything: from vodka to ravioli to macarons, and the trend is not slowing down.
Now, I understand that all kinds of restaurants want to jump on this autumnal bandwagon with their own pumpkin desserts and beverages. However, I recently heard about a food combination that I never expected to encounter: a pumpkin spice latte burger from (my go-to burger spot) Umami Burger, and I must admit, I was taken aback. How could anyone mix these two divine flavors, being such polar opposites, into one cohesive meal? It defies all conventional culinary knowledge. It makes me question everything I have ever known. Is it even physically possible? Umami Burger certainly thinks so.
But Umami Burger is not messing around. This burger consists of the restaurant’s signature beef blend patty, a pumpkin pie spiced mascarpone cheese spread, tempura-fried Japanese kabocha (a pumpkin-like squash), roasted garlic aioli and a drizzle of coffee molasses.
If you think this sounds like a confusing combination of ingredients, you’re definitely not alone. When I first saw this burger, I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be rich and sweet, like the original latte from which it was born? Would it be a savory sandwich like the one you always make with Thanksgiving leftovers? I had to find out. I took a bite and instantly entered Umami heaven. It didn’t make any sense — how could something as savory and meaty as a burger taste so good with this sweet coffee glaze and pumpkin cream cheese? But even though my mere human brain couldn’t understand the genius behind this burger, I still loved every bite of it. The light crunch from the tempura kabocha gave it an alluringly crispy texture, and the pumpkin spiced mascarpone perfectly complemented the beef. I really didn’t think they could pull this one off, but Umami Burger continues to dominate the burger game and create innovative recipes that will shatter your expectations of what a burger can be.