Inside: Pumpkin Spice Season Is Here, Kill Me Now.
For those of you who might know me, or for the two of you that read my blog regularly, (by the way thanks to my wife and one solid Facebook fan for that) and know me well, I am a HUGE fan of summer. I hate to see the days getting shorter and the weather getting colder knowing that soon we will once again be trapped in our houses for too many months. Jon Show said it best, Winter is coming, and damn it, there’s nothing we can do about it.
Gone will be the days of shorts and flip flops, though I can be seen wearing mine oftentimes well into November. My family thinks I’m crazy walking around the house in shorts but it’s not 32 degrees inside so why not be comfortable. The beach will be a fleeting memory as will the days sitting in my yard at the bar with a cold drink in my hand. We sit out there as long as we can until the shivering has become too much for us to bear. Luckily Winter is still a few months away and we still have Fall to enjoy, or do we?
Autumn, the season of change. The leaves drop to usher in new growth next year. You won’t catch even the faintest scent or sight of Coppertone but you will be bombarded with the newest tradition that I like to refer to as Pumpkin Spice Everything.
I’d like to think that the older I get the more I mature and the more I can handle my emotions but there’s something about pumpkin spice that infuriates me beyond comprehension. Like everything else in the world that gets over-commercialized so too has pumpkin spice. Just about every single product you can eat, drink or put on your body this time of year has pumpkin spice in it. Much like the Christmas, (I’m sorry), “Holiday” Season, pumpkin spice has begun to make it’s emergence on the shelves way before I’ve witnessed by last beach sunset for the year. Before the cover has gone on my pool and before my children go back to virtual or in-person school.
One day you’re enjoying your Shamrock Shake and McRib sandwich (neither of which contains actual shamrocks or ribs) and boom, you’re hit with an ad for pumpkin spice latte. It takes a second to register what month it is because you were just dressed all in green at a St Patty’s Day party doing keg stands and now you’re drinking pumpkin spice while your sweating through a heatwave.
Let’s get something straight, pumpkin spice is not pumpkin at all
If you asked a botanist to qualify a pumpkin they’d tell you that technically it’s a fruit because it’s the product of seeds from a flowering plant. Most of us regular folk, refer to it as a vegetable. When I think of fruit I imagine a nice peach or nectarine. A nice crisp bite of one of these tasty fruits is oddly satisfying and refreshing. Honestly, have you ever been sitting next to a colleague at lunch and they reach in their lunch bag after eating their sandwich and they pull out a nice chunk of pumpkin to eat?
The answer is no and I’ll tell you why. Pumpkin stinks. It’s bland and just doesn’t taste good. If pumpkin were good supermarkets and other food stores would have pumpkin available all year round for us to snack on.
Pumpkin, however, is high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and is healthy by itself. It’s also low in calories and can help boost your immune system if you can stand the taste and texture. It’s also great for dogs who have an upset stomach. Pumpkin helps calm their stomach and they love eating it, but let’s face it my beagle eats his crap now and then so I won’t go by Rocco’s palate.
The disappointing part about pumpkin spice is the fact that it’s one big lie. There’s no “real” pumpkin in pumpkin spice. Imagine for a minute you’re waiting in line at Starbucks. You’ve just ordered your Pumpkin Spice Latte, you step to the side and watch your barista craft your beverage.
Just when they’re about done the barista realizes they haven’t added the pumpkin flavor yet. They reach in the fridge, pull out a jack o’ lantern, and dump a big heaping spoonful in your coffee. Plop! You see that bright orange mess cascade into your coffee as they stir in all that tasty “goodness”.
Pumpkin spice isn’t even close to “real” pumpkin. It’s a mix of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove with a “hint” of pumpkin flavoring tossed in. Plain and simple, it’s a bait and switch. Yet, every year I’m amazed at how many new products come out with the “guise” of pumpkin spice.
Here are some pumpkin spice products that make my head spin…
Pumpkin Spice Cheerios
Your favorite breakfast cereal just got a little bit worse with the addition of pumpkin spice.
Bailey’s Irish Cream Pumpkin Spice
The milky alcohol taste of Irish Cream Pumpkin Spice.
Pumpkin Spice Rolls
How can you possibly ruin the cinnamon bun you ask? Well, Pillsbury has done it!
The packaging says it all! This coffee flavor is about as real as every single face on the Housewives of Orange County. (I’m not proud of this reference at all so don’t send me hate mail)
KFC Pumpkin and Feta Twister
Nothing screams Fall to me than visiting my local KFC for a Pumpkin, Chicken, and Feta wrap. I am finger-licking nauseous just thinking about this combination.
Pumpkin Spice Spam
You read that correctly, pumpkin spice Spam, Glorious Spam!
I know when my breath is less than fresh the first thing I reach for isn’t something with a nice minty flavor. Not this guy, I prefer the fresh taste of pumpkin! Limited Edition Trident Layers.
Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm
Who wouldn’t like to kiss nice soft lips with just a hint of pumpkin seasoning? Try Burt’s Bee’s Pumpkin Spice and let your significant other know what it tastes like to make out with a Jack O’Lantern.
Pumpkin Spice Pringles
Potato Chips are terrible for you in their regular form and let’s be honest, there probably isn’t a worst tasting chip than Pringles. I think the fact that every chip looks the same is weird. I want my chips to have variety, like people. But if you feel daring then by all means try their pumpkin spice flavored chips.
Pumpkin Spice Hand Repair Cream
After a hard day on the construction site or working around the yard, what better wat to soothe those dry, chapped hands than with a calming pumpkin spice hand cream. Give this one a try if you want your hands to smell exactly as they do after finishing cleaning out a pumpkin you’re children are about to carve.
Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
We’ve even found a way to ruin a night by the firepit.
Though fictional don’t think we might not be seeing some of these in the future if we allow this to continue
I personally don’t get the fascination with pumpkin spice but I know many people who enjoy it. To each his own I guess. Just wait a bit before we rush the season and let me enjoy my last gasp of summer.
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What are your thoughts on pumpkin spice? Comment below and let me know if you’re on my team or not!