Why the Pumpkin Spice Latte is Ruining Pumpkin

Why the Pumpkin Spice Latte is Ruining Pumpkin

What came first: the Pumpkin Spice Latte or the shorter days and cooler air?  Forget the autumnal equinox on September 22 – we have a Starbucks reminder for that. And it doesn’t care that it’s still 80 degrees. Move over umami, it seems like Pumpkin Spice is decent competition for an elemental taste spot.  Unfortunately, folks might be pumpkin-exhausted by the time Halloween even gets here. 

No doubt the addition of the real pie spice blend and actual pumpkin are great seasonal mood setters for breads, cakes and pies.  But the oversaturation of fake-y, unidentifiable flavorings just isn’t appealing. The phenom of Pumpkin Spice’s sweeping excitement may not necessarily be about the mudslide of pumpkin-flavored foods, but about the flavoring’s representation of seasonal and personal change (and baking and diet-ditching, of course).

The Rights:

Pumpkin Spice Krispy Kreme Donut: good ole fashioned Krispy Kreme glaze surrounds a spiced cake donut for this pie spice interpretation. KK is also offering a donut with a pumpkin-flavored cheesecake filling, topped with cream cheese frosting and a gingersnap crumble.  

Pumpkin Beer: pumpkinizing beer just makes sense, and it’s only been getting better and better over the last five years. Pumpkin beer is becoming less about in-your-face pie and more about a masterful balance of spice and hops. 

The Maybes: 

Pumpkin Spice M&M’s: these are plumper-than-average orange, green and brown-coated Ems that subtly embrace the pumpkinizing phenomenon. Spice notes are mild in this newest edition and their taste is much like the original. Decide for yourself - get these at $2.66 for a 9.9 oz, exclusive to Target.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte: either embrace it or don’t. Or ask for ¼ the syrup.

Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice Bagels: while pre-packaged bagels aren’t our first choice to begin with, the light pumpkin flavor works in these.  Be careful with jams - use butter or cream cheese instead.

The Wrongs:

Glade Pumpkin Pie Spice Air Freshener (we’ll stop at the vanilla spice-scented candles for fall and leave the pies in the oven to this, thanks), Dessert Essence Organics Pumpkin Pie Spice Hand Lotion, Pumpkin Pie Spice Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles, Polar Pumpkin Spice Seltzer Water, and Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka.

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