It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice, Charlie Brown

I’m just going to warn you. This is an extremely controversial stance you are about to read. It’s ok if you don’t agree. In fact, it’s beautiful that we don’t have to. You’ll see why.

As I’m currently writing, it’s the end of September. This means that Pumpkin Spice flavored everything (and I do mean everything) has been on the market for a little over a month in the states. I fully disagree with the fact that August is the beginning of the PSL and others have started to follow suit. I do not want to taste fall when it’s 90 outside, and I think that people who do, are crazy.

However, I did something that I’m very ashamed of. On August 27th, I was downtown for a doctors appointment. The air had dropped to, what can only be described as, ideal for apple picking. I got out of Back Bay station and was overcome with an inexplicable impulse. I walked into the Dartmouth Street Starbucks, and I ordered a venti Pike Place with 1 pump of pumpkin sauce. Cue the screams of shock and dismay. I happily took my coffee, added some half and half, and this avid black coffee drinker betrayed his character on an unforgivable scale. I may not have ordered a PSL, but I might as well have. The only thing that was holding together my character was that I indeed had only ordered ONE pump of pumpkin, and in a Pikes Place at that. Surely that was forgivable. But alas, no. It was August. Unseasonably cold or not, that coffee was as full of humble pie as it was pumpkin.

The next grocery trip I went full monty and went to Trader Joes, where the atmosphere of fall, pumpkin, and little gourds you buy and don’t know what to do with, drown out the casual Hawaiian print and California vibes. If you’ve never been, it’s a spectacle that I highly recommend.

Pictured: Gluten-free Pumpkin Pancake/Waffle mix, Pumpkin Spice O’s, Pumpkin Butter, Apple Cider Jelly, Maple Butter, Maple syrup, Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Toaster Pastries, Pumpkin Biscotti, Pumpkin Pecan Oatmeal, Fall Spice Tea, Pumpkin Nutrigrain bar, Pumpkin Spice Roobios, Pumpkin chocolate Chunck Oatmeal cookie mix… There was a lot more than this photo lets on.

I go back and forth on the Pumpkin Spice obsession. It’s commercially brilliant, in a similar manor to the McRib. Would I want these things if they were available all year round? Nope. But something about the limited time and the “it’s back!” message it sends does bring joy, and invite me to try things I wouldn’t consider buying for the sheer novelty of it all. Maybe I just wish autumn in New England lasted longer before jumping straight into winter. August is too early, but is September too late? What are your favorite Pumpkin flavored things? What goes too far?

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