Leaves are turning golden-brown, supermarkets are pushing Halloween-themed accessories and snacks and restaurants and food outlets are switching to new seasonal menus.
Yes, it’s almost time to get out the knitwear, gloves and scarfs because autumn is upon us.
And not missing a trick (or treat), gourmet grab-and-go chain Pret A Manger is one of the first to unleash its new seasonal menu to get us in the mood for those long dark nights ahead.
So what’s cooking? Already a popular choice in the US, expect to see lots of ads and marketing in your local Pret for its spiced pumpkin latte. Pret promises it’s made with real pumpkin purée, but if you really want to be on trend this year, or simply want to try something completely different then opt for a turmeric latte – or ‘golden milk’ as it is referred to in health circles.
While turmeric lattes have been all the rage in hip cities such as San Francisco and Portland in the US since last autumn, Brits too are taking to the golden milk.
Indeed, 2017 is officially the year of turmeric, as more of us become aware of nature’s wonder drug.
Of course, the spice of life has been used for centuries in Asian cooking and also for medicinal purposes, supposedly to help cure ailments from coughs, aches and pains to relieving some symptoms of cancer.
Flick through any Sunday tabloid, particularly those with an elderly readership, and you will find advertorials for turmeric-based health supplements that are ‘good for the joints’ and arthritis.
While turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, detox and general wellness-giving properties are hard to deny (it is of course a member of the root ginger family, and is a staple in curry dishes), is this really something you’d go for over a comforting chocolate or coffee? It might be the hip ingredient du jour, but it all sounds a bit… medicinal.
Pret describes the golden drink as “a warm and earthy balance of organic almond milk, turmeric, and spices. Available hot or iced, this sweet, spicy, and slightly salty latte will have you feeling all the feels this fall”.
Will this anti-inflammatory alternative to a shot of caffeine really take off on this erstwhile island of tea drinkers as a morning pick-me-up? Quite possibly, as more of us adopt a vegan diet.
Starbucks and Le Pain Quotidien are other high street chains pushing turmeric lattes, so expect to see a surge in popularity for a mug of golden milk.
And if you are too shy to ask for one in a trendy coffee shop, you can always make your own, if you don’t mind its powder leaving an indelible stain on your blender. But to be honest it’s a bit of a faff. It’s best to order one to go and be ultra-seasonal while wrapping up warm, soaking up the benefits and ‘feeling all the feels’.