Planning on serving pumpkin pie next week for Thanksgiving? You might want to find a back up — maybe pecan pie, or some spicy gingerbread. What’s wrong with pumpkin pie? Nothing — except that there aren’t any pumpkins available this year.
Rainy conditions in the midwest this fall have washed out the pumpkin crop, leaving retailers at a loss for canned pie filling. This week, the LA Times reported that Nestlé, which controls 85% of the pumpkin crop for canning, was all out of pumpkins. The company issued a surprise apology, saying that the rain had destroyed the remains of an already-small crop. Nestlé plans to stop shipping canned pumpkin after Thanksgiving, and the company says that once this season’s supply is gone, there won’t be any more pumpkins available for canning until August 2010.
That’s a long time to wait for a slice of pumpkin pie.
If you’re quick, you can find pumpkins for thanksgiving dinner. Some stores still have canned pumpkin on the shelf, and are anticipating being able to meet consumer demand through Thanksgiving.
The pumpkin shortage isn’t new news — it was covered back in October, — but things have gotten more dire since then. And really, who doesn’t look forward to a big slice of pumpkin pie after a delicious turkey dinner?
Then again, this could be the year that mincemeat makes a comeback.