Unless you have been living under a boulder, you’re probably seeing (and smelling) pumpkin spice everywhere.
Since Starbucks introduced its Pumpkin Spice Latte (“PSL” to the devotees) in 2003, it has become by far the company’s most popular seasonal drink with roughly 424 million sold worldwide, according to CNBC. It paces ahead of the coffee chain’s holiday-themed Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte.
Inspired by the success of the PSL, everyone from local diners to big-name food and beverage companies have been trying to emulate its success, introducing pumpkin-flavored everything. Just a few examples:
Kellogg’s Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop Tarts. These limited edition toast-able pastries are infused with pumpkin pie-flavored filling and decorated with sprinkles in autumn colors.
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios. It’s fall in a box! Billed as “limited edition, unlimited flavor,” this breakfast cereal is made from pumpkin puree and a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats Pumpkin Spice Cereal. Kellogg’s says “This delicious fall favorite weaves together the warmth of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with layers of wheat.”
Thomas' Pumpkin Spice English Muffins. Great with a little melted butter and a nice cup of tea — maybe even Bigelow’s Pumpkin Spice Black Tea (see below).
Pillsbury Grands! Pumpkin Spice Rolls. These bake-at-home pastries come with pumpkin spice icing. Of course.
Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Creamer. Want the great taste of pumpkin spice coffee at home and don’t want to spend $5 a cup? You can now get Starbucks pumpkin spice creamer to add to your home-brewed joe. If you own a Keurig, you can brew Starbucks coffee with pumpkin spice (dry) flavor packets.
Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Black Tea. Don’t like Starbucks or coffee in general? Bigelow now lets tea-drinkers get in on all the fun.
Little Debbie Pumpkin Spice Rolls. The treats are pumpkin spice-flavored cake rolled around vanilla creme and drizzled with white icing.
Pumpkin Pie KitKats and Pumpkin Pie M&Ms, when you want to combine two Halloween favorites in one dessert.
Blue Bunny Pumpkin Spice Pecan Ice Cream. It is getting rave reviews. Friendly’s Pumpkin Ice Cream has just hit the shelves at local supermarkets, too.
Peanut Butter & Co. Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter. Blended with pumpkin pie spices for the “distinct taste of autumn,” its maker says the product is “made with real pumpkin” and is “delicious in sandwiches, recipes, on fruit or straight from the jar.” It’s also gluten-free and vegan.
Williams Sonoma Pumpkin Braising Sauce. The gourmet retailer invites consumer to “bring home the rich flavors of the fall harvest with our autumn-inspired braising sauce.” It is made by gently simmering pumpkin, tomatoes and brown sugar with cream, Parmesan cheese and a blend of aromatic sage, basil, garlic and nutmeg. We bet TV’s Peter Brady would love some “pork chops and pumpkin sauce.”
SPAM Pumpkin Spice. A sign that the apocalypse is near, SPAM has introduced a limited edition variety featuring hints of cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg. “Fry it up with waffles, hash or eggs to make the perfect breakfast pairing.” Doubtful? SPAM posted on Twitter that “it was pretty popular” and has sold out. The brand reported that “If you didn’t get your hands on any, we have 15 other flavorful varieties you can enjoy.”
WholeHearted Grain Free Pumpkin Biscuit Dog Treats. Not a typo. Pumpkin-flavored dog biscuits are sold at Petco.com.
For the adventuresome, there is a YouTube video on How To Make Pumpkin Spice Hot Dogs.
Adult beverages have gotten on board with the pumpkin craze. Bailey’s Pumpkin Spice can be served straight up, on the rocks, or even in coffee and hot chocolate.
Not ready for autumn yet? There’s a pumpkin pie sangria recipe — a fusion of fall and a popular summertime adult beverage.
And what summary would be complete without a listing of pumpkin beers? Thrillist ranked some of the top American pumpkin brews, including:
New Belgium Voodoo Atomic Pumpkin (Pumpkin ale, 6.4%) “Atomic Pumpkin throws out the pumpkin beer rulebook that says every pumpkin beer must taste like pumpkin pie, and adds a spicy twist.”
Shipyard Smashed Pumpkin (Pumpkin ale, 9%) “This beer is infinitely quaffable.”
Dogfish Head Punkin (Brown ale, 7%) "The pumpkin beer for people who say they don't like pumpkin beers. It won't overpower you with pumpkinyness, and the finish is quite pleasant.”
Want something locally brewed?
Wet Ticket Brewery (1435 Main St., Rahway) has brought back its seasonal Scarecrow Juice, which is served with cinnamon sugar around the rim of the glass. To find out more about Wet Ticket, visit www.wetticketbrewing.com.
Enjoy your pumpkin spice responsibly.
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