I’ve been having that dream again lately, that one where everything is pumpkin spice. Oh, wait, no. That’s not a dream. It’s just the advent of autumn.
When was it, exactly, that a committee got together and decided that from early September to about 1:43 on Thanksgiving day, all food, bath and cleaning products needed to resemble pumpkin pie? I blame the Whigs. Or Starbucks.
Look, I’m not hating on pumpkin. Or spice. I actually love the stuff. But we need to have standards, man. Some respect. A pumpkin is a real, living thing. It grows on a vine. It was not created in a lab, like blue raspberry.
Opportunities abound to enjoy pumpkin, and its complementary spices: Pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli… double up with some roasted pumpkin on a salad and toss the seeds on there for good measure. You don’t have to go contending with a whole gourd, either. My late grandmother made a pumpkin ice cream pie by mixing canned pumpkin (not canned pumpkin pie mix) with vanilla ice cream, nuts and spices, and freezing it in a homemade gingersnap crust.
But how in the name of Julia Child (creator of Le Potiron Tout Rond, or pumpkin soup baked in a pumpkin) have we gotten to the point where it is not only socially acceptable, but almost mandatory to partake of so-called pumpkin spice items that were never in the same room as anything remotely related to a pumpkin?
It’s the great pumpkin spice mystery, Charlie Brown.
Jet-Puffed Pumpkin Spice Mallows
Marshmallows are a nice Thanksgiving topper for pumpkin’s cousin, sweet potato. However, in no way does this mean that pumpkin spice marshmallows are remotely acceptable.
Cascade Ice Pumpkin Pie Naturally Flavored Sparkling Water
Pumpkin pie water. Let’s say it again. Pumpkin. Pie. Water. What in the everlovingcrap is this about? Go home, Cascade Ice, you’re drunk.
Pumpkin Spice Creme Oreos
Has anyone else been getting the feeling lately that Nabisco is being run by insecure middle school girls? Seriously. They keep taking something that is unequivocally lovely—a classic Oreo—and trying to make it into something else. I want to show an Oreo a mirror and tell it “you’re perfect just the way you are.”
Jif Whips Limited Edition Whipped Peanut Butter & Pumpkin Pie Spice
Pumpkin spice peanut butter. So I can spread it on my pumpkin spice English muffin and wash it down with a pumpkin spice latte. And then I will meet the same fate as Violet Beauregard, except instead of turning blue, I’ll turn orange.
Brach’s Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn
Right. Because that’s what candy corn needs to make it less disgusting. More artificial flavoring.
Nestlé Toll House Pumpkin Spice Morsels
Listen. If you want a cookie that involves both pumpkin and chips, make pumpkin cookies and add chocolate chips. Hell, add white chocolate chips. We’ll save the white chocolate isn’t really chocolate (it’s not) debate for another time.
Keebler Fudge Stripe Limited Batch Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Have the Keebler elves started growing pumpkins? I think not.
Milk Chocolate M&M’s Pumpkin Spice Latte
Remember the good old days, when the only M&M’s debate was plain or peanut? Like Oreos, M&M’s have gotten caught up in a weird identity crisis. Let’s stop with the crazy makeovers now.
Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Flavored Vodka
Okay, at this point in time, vodka companies are catering to the underage set. Pinnacle boasts flavors like marshmallow, rainbow sherbet, Cinnabon, and yes, pumpkin pie. You make alcohol taste like dessert, kids will drink it. Of course, kids are drinking hand sanitizer, so the effort really wasn’t necessary.
Peeps Pumpkin Spice Flavored Marshmallow Dipped in White Fudge
If I ever need to murder a diabetic in the fall, I’m going to do it with Pumpkin Spice Peeps.
Trident Layers Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice
The only source of relief here is that pumpkin spice Trident being on clearance means it wasn’t sold out. Congratulations, America. There’s hope for you, yet.
Holly Leber is a writer and editor based in Silver Spring, Md. When she’s not hunting for stories, she can be found going on produce-related shopping sprees, making jam, wine tasting and reading 1930’s Nancy Drew. Holly is the editorial director of The Daily Do Good.
Pumpkin photo by Veganbaking.net CC BY-SA