This began as an argument and apology for pumpkin spice, and why the hysteria every fall is actually warranted. But then I discovered pumpkin spice White Claw and I fell down the rabbit hole.
The truth is, pumpkins in general are really healthy and should be a staple of your diet when they are in season.
They are a natural wonder in terms of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The abundant potassium and beta-carotene they hold make them ideal for encouraging a healthy body and are an extremely underrated alkaline food.
Pumpkins also include a generous amount of protein and fiber, as well as a host of other essential nutrients, such as iron, copper, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C.
We typically think of pumpkins as a treat or “dessert” food, but the reality is they are full of vital nutrients and are not unhealthy in the slightest.
But then there’s pumpkin spice.
What is Pumpkin Spice?
In case you’ve been living on another planet and don’t know what pumpkin spice is, it’s a loose term given to the spices most commonly used to flavor pumpkin dishes, specifically pumpkin pie.
It usually consists of nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and allspice. It’s what gives pumpkin pie its signature flavor.
Over the past few years, pumpkin spice-flavored food items have become a fall staple.
Every year, more and more products have been adopting a pumpkin spice variant, with mixed results.
Pumpkin spice lattes, of course, are delicious and are sort of what set the trend. However, it doesn’t stop there.
Every year more and more brands dip their toes into the murky pumpkin spice waters and come out with new, craven concoctions.
I never paid any mind to the hysteria. I’ve sampled some pumpkin spice products here and there over the years but never joined the pumpkin spice bandwagon.
It’s apparent now that what was once a novel trope of the season has become a full blown marketing stunt, people’s taste buds and health be damned.
Let’s take a look at a few products that just should flat out not exist.
Pumpkin Spice White Claw Hard Seltzer
2019, what a year.
First off, I have nothing against White Claw. Can’t go wrong with vegan-friendly alcohol.
In fact White Claw has taken off for a reason, it’s pretty damn good.
But pumpkin spice?
Let’s break this down.
First of all, pumpkin pie flavored seltzer in and of itself just sounds like a bad time.
Because who doesn’t crave the taste of pumpkin pie and the feeling of soda all at the same time?
When you add the prospect of alcohol to the mix, it transforms into something only 2019 could bring us.
Going to have to be a hard pass on this one.
Pumpkin Spice Oreo’s
Like most exotic Oreo flavors, they don’t come close to the original, and often leave an artificial taste in your mouth.
These fall into the “extremely artificial” category.
Not even entirely certain there’s any real pumpkin or spice in these. They taste like cheap crunchy pumpkin pie candy or something.
Also they are completely unnecessary. There’s a thousand different pumpkin-flavored cookies on the market. You can do better.
Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn
The fact that this exists means humanity is already lost.
Does it even warrant an explanation?
Pumpkin Spice Spam
I’ll be honest, when I first discovered this I thought it was a meme.
Like, no one would be crazy enough to think that overly-processed canned meat would taste good spliced with artificial pumpkin pie flavoring, would they?
I was sadly mistaken.
Pumpkin Pie Spam is quite real, and coming to a supermarket near you.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t morbidly curious about how it tastes. Suffice it to say I would never put this near my mouth even if I hadn’t sworn off meat.
Part of this curiosity comes from the fact that the consensus on it is still up in the air. Some people apparently really like it.
But then again, some people actually like normal, plain Spam. Those people can’t be trusted.
Who knows how it tastes. You’ll just have to try it for yourself.
If you’re into that sort of thing.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles
This just sounds like a disaster.
We’re essentially talking about pumpkin pie flavored potato chips.
Pumpkin. Pie. Potato. Chips.
How far will capitalism go?
It seems there is no answer to that question, as fall food products continue to edge closer and closer to the abyss every year.
I never thought I’d see the day when Pumpkin Spice Pringles would become a thing, but here we are. We’re living in an interesting time line.
If you haven’t guessed, these are overly-processed abominations and should not be purchased or consumed under any circumstances.
A Few Pumpkin Spice Recommendations
Not all pumpkin spice products are horrible. In fact, despite the marketing ploys, some of these products can be downright tasty.
Tazo Pumpkin Spice tea is one such item, which is as delicious as it sounds.
If you are craving a pastry that isn’t pumpkin pie but tastes like it, there are some decent pumpkin spice cookies on the market, including this Pumpkin Spice Cookie Mix from Krusteaz Bakery.
Of course, there’s plenty of pumpkin spice plant milk and coffee creamer options.
The best course of action when you’re getting bombarded with pumpkin spice hysteria in the supermarket this season is, “would I actually like to eat this item with pumpkin pie?”
If the answer to that is no or an uneasy maybe, you might want to think twice about purchasing it. Chances are you’re just setting yourself up for some massive regret and possibly a stomach ache.