The Autumn-Flavored Salmon That Took Fall Too Far

Christmas has peppermint and Valentine's Day has chocolate. Even St. Patrick's Day has a weird hyper-focus on everything mint-flavored (hello Shamrock Shake). It's only natural, then, that Halloween — and the whole Autumn season — would continue this tradition of seasons and flavorings by bringing pumpkin spice front and center. While we may think that pumpkin spice is a relatively recent flavor, HISTORY tells us that spices such as nutmeg have been a prized treasure since the beginning of the European expeditions in the pre-colonial days and earlier. While the ancient Indonesians and European sailors probably didn't enjoy pumpkin spice-flavored lattes, it goes to show that mankind's fascination with spice goes back centuries.

Pumpkin-flavored spices do have their uses, creating some of our most beloved Autumn dishes. What would Thanksgiving be without pumpkin pie, after all? To say that pumpkin spice isn't useful would be an unfair assessment, but one can also argue that companies may be leaning into the spice a bit too much. With everything from coffees to cleaning supplies bearing that classic Fall scent, it can get hard to differentiate between what's real and what's fake.

One certain dish, however, may sound like it was a joke invented by the likes of Red Lobster for some quick retweets but turned out to be surprisingly real. 

Say hello to pumpkin spice-flavored salmon

Butter, herbs, lemon, and white wine sauce are some ingredients you might find in a salmon dish. But have you ever considered what it would be like to try your grilled salmon if it was infused with pumpkin spice? No? Well, just because you wouldn't like it doesn't mean someone would — at least that's what whoever invented "pumpkin spice salmon" was thinking. A tweet from 2016 shows a "limited-edition" pumpkin spice-dusted variant of salmon being sold at a grocery store deli. Perhaps even more shocking was that price was a staggering $14.99 a pound, which only adds another layer of horror to the Autumnal treat.

Some readers may suggest that this is nothing but a joke item, something meant to make customers laugh while they wait in line at the deli. Strangely enough, there actually does exist some variations of pumpkin spice-infused salmon. EatingWell has a recipe for "pumpkin seed salmon with maple-spice carrots," which suggests covering the outside of the salmon in a pumpkin seed crust similar to recipes for almond or pecan-crusted salmon. Chef Anthony Serrano also has a recipe for pumpkin spice salmon that involves a marinade of maple syrup, pumpkin puree, and apple cider vinegar that gives the salmon a smokey and sweet taste.

While salmon and pumpkin spice may make strange bedfellows, there's actually a scientific reason you can't get enough of that fall-themed spice, even when paired with salmon.