Fall is officially here, and everything’s coming up pumpkin! Well, pumpkin spice, that is. Pumpkin spice isn’t pumpkin itself, it’s that stuff that you put on pumpkin to make it, you know, taste like pumpkin spice. And it’s the only thing anyone cares about anymore. If the Spice Girls came out today, it would just be 5 chippies in leggings and braided hair crowns all called Pumpkin Spice. It’s that serious.
I’ve done an unofficial survey of the pumpkin spice items on the market this year, and cataloged them by how necessary they are (usually: not at all) and their ranking on the pumpkin meter (as in: do they actually even remind you of pumpkin).
Is it necessary? No.
Pumpkin Meter: 0. Contains no actual pumpkin.
Initial impression: Oreos have become the ultimate in junk foods masquerading as other junk foods. You can now buy Oreos that taste like mint chocolate, birthday cake, Blizzard (which is an ice cream dessert that tastes like Oreos, figure that out) … and now, pumpkin spice. This was inevitable. This is America.
Is it necessary? Maybe?
Pumpkin Meter: 2. Tastes kind of pumpkin-y, can be combined with real pumpkin.
Initial impression: This seems useless as a standalone food, but combined with some type of pie crust or parfait situation, it’s unhealthy, but at least sort of functional.
Is it necessary? It’s fine. I guess.
Pumpkin Meter: 0.5. Have you ever had pumpkin bread, made with actual pumpkin? This isn’t that. It’s cinnamon raisin bagels, minus the raisins, plus some nutmeg and orange food coloring.
Initial impression: As far as bagged, preservative-laden bagels go, this is fine. My biggest issue with everything on this list is, pumpkin flavored or not, these just aren’t things I’d ever eat unless I had no other option and was really hungry. I could see pumpkin bagels, made with real pumpkin at a real bagel shop, being pretty good, though.
Yoplait Pumpkin Pie Yogurt
Is it necessary? Never.
Pumpkin meter: 1. You know how grape and watermelon-flavored things taste nothing like actual grapes or watermelon? Yet you still can sort of tell what they’re trying to be? That’s the pumpkin flavoring in this yogurt.
Initial impression: This time of year, I’m into combining equal parts pureed pumpkin and plain or vanilla yogurt. That tastes pretty good, honestly. But Yoplait Pumpkin Pie Yogurt tastes like if you tried to approximate that using corn syrup straight-up, a gelatin agent, and the wilted dreams of pumpkin.
Hershey’s Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candies
Is it necessary? Nah.
Pumpkin meter: 0.
Initial impression: If you’ve ever thought to yourself “hey, I wish this chocolate tasted more like the flavoring you use in pumpkin pie,”… I just don’t know what to tell you. Enjoy, I guess. But if you’re like the rest of us who like to keep your pumpkin and your waxy chocolate separate, don’t bother.
Jif Whips Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter
Is it necessary? I mean. There’s probably an audience for it.
Pumpkin meter: You know how there are weird CGI versions of every cartoon you ever loved now? The only way I can describe it is that this is the weird CGI version of peanut butter – sort of fakey and not really the same.
Initial impression: I am never eating this again, but it was almost okay-ish. You know how in Nutella commercials, that mom talks about how Nutella is a great way to get your kids to eat stuff like bread? And you wonder if there are really that many kids refusing to eat bread? Well, I guess you could use this to convince pumpkin obsessed people to eat bread.
Honestly, though. Are there that many people who are at a carb deficit?
Is it necessary? Maybe if you like candy corn.
Pumpkin meter: No.
Initial impression: I hate candy corn, so I asked the one person I know who actually likes candy corn. Verdict: “honestly, I’d rather just eat some regular candy corn.” Well, there you have it, kids. It’s nice that this is made with real honey, right?
Twistex Dog Dental Chews
Is it necessary? Of course not.
Pumpkin meter: So, I realize I never set a scale for the pumpkin meter. Let’s say it goes from zero to “Great Pumpkin.” These rate right at “no idea, because it’s dog food.”
Initial impression: I’m sure my dog would eat these if I bought them, but any food that appeals to a species that thinks dead animals smell awesome and cat poop is delicious is probably disgusting. Bonus: if your dog gets into these you can start making fun of her for being so ~basic.
Is it necessary? I mean … is any Country Crock spread necessary?
Pumpkin meter: Not sure; couldn’t find anyone who had tried it. Or ever would.
Initial impression: I’m opposed to fake butters, but I could see how the pumpkin version of an apple butter type thing would be good, right? Except I’d only eat it if it was made out of actual butter and not dyed yellow pressed oil.
Is it necessary? If Pumpkin Spice Lattes are necessary, pumpkin spice tea is, too.
Pumpkin meter: The “spice meter” is pretty high but the “pumpkin meter” is broken here.
Initial impression: This is fallish and not bad, but tastes more like spice and less like pumpkin.
Silk Pumpkin Spice Soymilk
Is it necessary? Meh. It has its uses.
Pumpkin meter: Middling. Sort of tastes like pumpkin.
Initial impression: I thought this would be good in coffee. It wasn’t. But I used it in a pancake recipe and wasn’t disappointed. So, maybe better for baking.
Is it necessary? NO.
Pumpkin Meter: NO.
Initial impression: I won’t buy these, and I don’t know anyone else who will, either. Not even 100% sure they’re being sold this year. Don’t care to find out. Happy pumpkining!