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It’s pumpkin time!

And we aren’t ashamed to participate.

Photograph: Martha Williams
Pumpkin cake dessert at Owen & Engine

It’s the week of Halloween, and we’re talking pumpkins. Revolutionary, right? Here’s the thing, though: Whereas other traditional holiday foods feel uninspired (here’s looking at you, fruit cake and gefilte fish), pumpkin generally is put to use in craveable, interesting ways. Case in point: the dessert you see on this page, the pumpkin cake at Owen & Engine(2700 N Western Ave, 773-235-2930). Pastry chef Crystal Chiang tops the cake with glasslike shards of pumpkin-seed brittle, puts dollops of pumpkin anglaise and chocolate sauce on the plate, and finishes the dish with a shot glass of orange-rum granita. (Surprisingly, that granita makes it. Orange and pumpkin—who knew?) Elsewhere in the city, pumpkin is being used in brunch porridge (Birchwood Kitchen), milkshakes (Edzo’s), dessert crêpes (Custom House Tavern), spaetzle (Vincent), cocktails (Rebar)…basically you have to try to avoid this stuff. So don’t. Go forth, eat pumpkin. What else are you going to do with the things—carve them?

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