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10 Pumpkin Dishes to Try in Houston: #6: Pumpkin Praline Ice Cream at Amy's

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I adore pumpkin. It's orange (my favorite color), healthful (fiber! Vitamin A!), and associated with two lovely, food-centric holidays (Halloween and Thanksgiving). Starting around October, I always find myself on the hunt for pumpkin-flavored foods, and this autumn is no exception. So, between now and Turkey Day, I will be counting down 10 Pumpkin Dishes to Try in Houston.

#6: Pumpkin Praline Ice Cream at Amy's

In the lightest of orange hues, the pumpkin ice cream at Amy's might be mistaken for peach. Until, of course, those first few licks, when the strong notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice hit your taste buds, swiftly followed by the mild squash. The sweet peppery taste, creamy texture, and, perhaps most importantly, cool temperature feel perfectly autumn.

Many ice cream joints offer seasonal flavors, but what I like about Amy's is that its pumpkin ice cream goes through various iterations throughout the fall. On any given day, in addition to plain old glorious "pumpkin," you might find "pumpkin cheesecake", "pumpkin brandy," "pumpkin pie," etc.

Most recently, it's been "pumpkin praline." Speckled with finely ground pecans and laced with fine threads of syrup, pumpkin praline is nutty but not chunky, which is why upon a second tasting I requested my scoops be converted into a milkshake -- or a "squash shake." (McDonald's better not steal my idea.)

Texas: one of the few places where a request for an icy drink on a late October night doesn't warrant a double-take. I sipped myself into a headache, turned up the air-conditioner, and drifted off to sleep under a fleece.

The list to date: #10: Pumpkin Cheesecake Balls at Chocolat Du Monde #9: Dogfish Head Punkin Ale #8: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin from Stone Mill Bakers #7: "Halloween" Pumpkin Curry from Khun Kay Thai Café

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