Pumpkin Spice Season (aka Fall)

Pumpkin Spice Season (aka Fall)

Maeve Dunigan

With each day of October that passes and each leaf that falls, I can practically hear the words “pumpkin spice” being whispered by each gust of wind which blows across the town.

Ahh, yes, autumn. The beautiful red, gold and orange leaves dotting the trees, the brisk air, cute animals preparing for winter, and thousands of teenage girls flocking to coffee shops to purchase the Pumpkin Spice latte.

What a beautiful thing, so much nature, so much consumerism–America really is a wonderful place. We might as well just rename autumn, “Pumkinspice” (yes I made it into one word; it might as well be).

It’s pretty incredible how much of an impact the fall season has on large food corporations. Each fall it seems that food companies work extra hard to make a food that should never taste like a pumpkin, tastes nothing like a pumpkin, and yet is labelled “Pumpkin.” There are certain foods that yes, a little pumpkin flavoring would not hurt. But there are some pumpkin spice foods that are a bit unsettling (i’m looking at you Pumpkin Spice marshmallows and Pumpkin Spice Jell-O).

In reality, Pumpkin Spice foods really only taste like the food itself riddled with a little nutmeg and cinnamon. Can you even imagine if a Pumpkin Spice latte actually tasted like the inside of a pumpkin? It would be anarchy. Even the name “Pumpkin Spice” is a little ridiculous. It sounds like an orange My Little Pony.

One would think that food companies would go for apples, a crop commonly harvested each fall. But, alas, they decided that pumpkin was the way to go. This interests me.

Does anyone actually eat pumpkins? Or just pumpkin-flavored things? What a sad food, the pumpkin is. Unloved and uneaten in its natural state but simply used as a pretty orange figurehead for the fall season.

Furthermore, how many pumpkin spice foods actually contain considerable amounts of pumpkin? Very few. The Pumpkin Spice latte (which actually contains no pumpkin–gasp) may as well be named “a regular latte with cinnamon creamer.”. The Pumpkin Spice donut could just be called “orange donut”.

But, what can’t be argued is the fact that Pumpkin Spice foods (well, most of them anyway) are delicious. Add extra sugar to a baked good or coffee product, and give it a pretty name–it’s always bound to be a hit. Fall in America looks red orange and yellow, smells like cinnamon, feels brisk, and tastes like artificial pumpkin flavoring, and that’s just the way we like it.