Do you still think about Popeyes’ chicken sandwich?
I often do. But this isn’t a story about a chicken sandwich. It’s the story of a deep-fried pie that made its way onto the national menu of a national chain without so much as a tweet.
I found out about Popeyes’ new Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie when I stopped by my local restaurant. This pie was last sold in 2014, and now it’s finally back after five long, pumpkin-free years. (Let’s hope the chicken sandwich doesn’t take that long to come back.)
It was piping hot, almost too hot to bite. Cinnamon sugar spilled everywhere. I realised too late that I probably should have kept the pie in the handy provided container.
But one bite of the pie made me forget all my mortal troubles. My lips were greeted by a gentle layer of sweet cinnamon powder and my teeth were met by a flaky, crispy crust that oozed buttery filling when bitten.
This was no muddled pastry. The line between pumpkin and cream cheese was clearer than the sky on a sunny day. And both fillings had distinct flavours.
The cream cheese was sour, creamy, and slightly savoury. The pumpkin filling was sweet and tasted strongly of clove. Both fillings were gooier than traditional pumpkin pies are, but I didn’t quite mind. I did crave just a touch more cinnamon, but the pastry tasted so good that I just didn’t mind.
There wasn’t a single stale bite of this pie. Every single bite burst with flavour. My only complaint was that there weren’t enough bites. The pie quickly disappeared…
… leaving nothing but a warm fullness in my stomach and a coating of cinnamon sugar on my fingertips.
But the chicken sandwich had taught me an important lesson: never buy just one. And keep your eyes on the prize —or in this case, on the pies.