The Liberator

Pumpkin Spice Season Has Arrived

Megan Ramsey, Staff Writer

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I’ve finally tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte. All in the name of Pumpkin Spice Season. I love fall, but I’ve never been a Pumpkin Spice Latte kind of gal. I’ve always gotten a nice chocolate frappuccino when I’ve visited Starbucks, which is not very often. In the fall, I usually stick to pumpkin spice breads— nothing too extreme. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are a much anticipated part of fall, so this season I finally tried the PSL and many other pumpkin spice themed items.

While the concept of many foods taking on a pumpkin flavor may seem odd, America takes advantage of excitable American consumers with the fall season. Halloween decorations are sold well before October and Pumpkin Spice Lattes go on sale as early as September 1, even though Austin temperatures still reach 90°F throughout the month.

However, a lot of brands use the fall flavor in their products. There are chocolates, teas, lattes, cereals and cereal bars, ice-creams, cookies, popcorn, pastries, and breads. There are marshmallows, rums, cream cheeses, almonds, cinnamon rolls, kale, butter, and seasoning spray. Frankly, it’s over the top, so naturally, I had to experience some of these for myself.

I began a week long tasting of new pumpkin spice items, ending with the famous PSL. It was not the most delicious drink I’ve ever tasted, but it was better than I had initially expected.  It did have the right amount of coffee and pumpkin flavors, and the sugar definitely helped, but it’s nothing special, and I wasn’t about to drink the whole thing. I’ll probably never order it again, but I understand the appeal, especially since it gets people into the spirit of fall, even if it’s not quite “sweater weather” yet.

While I didn’t find any of the pumpkin spice kale, I did end up trying pumpkin popcorn, Milano cookies, ice-cream, waffles, chocolate, Trader Joe’s Joe Joes, and Trader Joe’s pumpkin o’s. They were fun to taste, but most of the foods ended up being brought to school, so I could give them to friends to get rid of. The chocolate was by far the best, but it was Ghirardelli, so how could it not be? The subtle flavor of pumpkin spice incorporated into the center of milk chocolate was quite nice.

In future seasons, I think I will stick with the simple pumpkin spice bread, unless I end up in San Francisco and get a free sample of Ghirardelli’s pumpkin spice chocolate. Consumers are drawn in by companies who advertise their seasonal and special fall foods. While the flavor does manage to pump people up for fall, it’s mostly created by large companies who are benefitted by jumping on the flavor’s marketing bandwagon. Welcome to Pumpkin Spice Season.

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Pumpkin Spice Season Has Arrived