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Eloise Friloux

Is Pumpkin Spice all that nice? TRL’s Sarah Hibberd and Calla Patino share their sides if they think pumpkin spice is worth the hype.

Pumpkin spice, is it nice?

October 17, 2022

Pumpkin spice has been around since 1934 and has grown into a popular choice every fall. TRL’s Sarah Hibberd and Calla Patino debate the validity of the seasonal spice.

Not falling for it

Listen, I’m a lover of seasonal festivities. When mother nature whisks away the summer breeze and sweater weather takes its place, I’m all for it. There’s no better feeling than stealing a bite of apple pie straight out of the oven or catching a waft of a cranberry woods candle from Bath and Body Works. However, there’s one tidbit of the fall season I’ve grown to distaste, yet it captivates the country year after year: pumpkin spice. 

Pumpkins are the emblem of fall, we get it, but must they invade every aspect of the fall season? Pumpkins steal the show when it comes to the image of fall, but its oversaturation in the culinary world is simply too much. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spice french toast, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin spice bread, pumpkin spice hot chocolate; it’s overpowering. What’s more, there is a multitude of items that have no business being spiced up. This includes but is not limited to gum, yogurt, Jell-O, and even Spam. Yes, you read correctly; pumpkin spice Spam is on the market. It’s ridiculous. 

The pumpkin spice apocalypse is unwarranted. Pumpkin spice is a messy blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and ginger that’s happened to weasel its way into any and every digestible item. The potent, unnecessary mixture of spices that sinks to the bottom of my latte is by no means appealing. As far as I’m concerned, the pumpkin spice marketing game is the sole reason for its popularity, not because it’s a flavorful, magic elixir for the fall spirit. I don’t know about you, but I’m not falling for it.

If you so desire a fall sensory experience, turn to an authentic array of scents and spices. Apple, caramel, maple, cinnamon and pecan are wonderful alternatives to the basic pumpkin spice flavor. Allow classy scents such as cranberry, sandalwood or vanilla to fill the air rather than more pumpkin muck. 

If you wish to dive deeper into a rabbit hole of seasonal mediocrity, pumpkin spice is surely the way to go. If you wish to resist the surge of pumpkin, I assure you we can combat this evil one non-pumpkin spice item at a time.

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Pumpkin spice, everything nice

The cool autumn crisp; the night glazing over earlier; the red, yellow and brown leaves; the switch from crop top summer to sweaters. When coffee shops release this seasonal treat of pumpkin spice, fall is here. There are no months of October and November without the warm, straight-to-the-heart flavor of pumpkin spice. 

Even if the spice isn’t nice, it’s the bat signal for arguably the best season. Looking for something different from an everyday Caramel Macchiato, try some pumpkin spice. It’s not just the distinct, wonderful flavor of CINNAMON which is the epitome of the smells of fall; it’s the kind spices of ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves.

For lovers of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, this drink is the first wave to the beloved pie. During Thanksgiving dinner, people become overstuffed from the turkey and gravy feast that by the time dessert rolls around there’s no room left for pumpkin pie. Pumpkin spice coffee stops from missing out on that pumpkin goodness. 

On the thought of pumpkins, pumpkin spice is the reminder for families to search their attics and pull out their skeletons and jack-o-lanterns for Halloween is just around the corner. When having to wake up early, getting a cup of some good old pumpkin spice spices a morning up. The flavor is only around for a short time every year, but it continues to make a splash. Every year Starbucks sells more than 20 million pumpkin spice lattes, according to CNN. That’s a lot of pumpkin.

With the change in weather, pumpkin spice implores people to jump into a pile of raked-up fallen leaves, curl up in their favorite blanket, watch Frankenstein and Dracula, go on a hayride and holler for their football team. Pumpkin spice brings everyone together for the turn of the season.

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