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Pumpkin spice review

| Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“When is it really fall? To some, it’s the crisp air and changing leaves, but to us, it’s not officially fall until you’ve enjoyed a warm cup of that sweet pumpkin spice.” — Bear Naked Granola

The South Bend air hasn’t gotten chilly yet, but my friends and I are basic girls who are ready for everything pumpkin spice. On Saturday, we ventured to the store and bought as many pumpkin spice items as we could find. We reviewed them and made a definitive list of the best and worst pumpkin spice items available this season.

First off, we stopped at Starbucks for a Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. We concluded that it’s 100% better than the classic PSL. It’s lighter, sweeter and has more caffeine. Seems like a no brainer.  

Next, we wandered the aisles of Target and Whole Foods and selected a variety of items including pumpkin spice bagels, Pop-Tarts, granola, Milano cookies, Halo Top, whipped cream and peanut butter to name a few.

At home, we tasted each item and rated them on how much they tasted like pumpkin spice and the overall “yumminess” of the item.

First off, we tried the Pumpkin Spice Whipped Topping from Whole Foods. Honestly, this was much better than we expected it to be. It has a bright orange hue, but it tastes like a light, whipped pumpkin pie. Overall score: 10.

Next was the Bear Naked Pumpkin Spice Granola. To be honest, this was not good. It tasted like any other cinnamon flavored granola with “pumpkin spice” slapped on the package. Save your money and skip this granola. Overall score: Three. 

Next up is Nature’s Path Organic Toaster Pastry in Frosted Pumpkin Pie flavor. It was an organic version of a Pop-Tart, and it did not disappoint with a great texture, flaky crust and warm, sweet center. Although this did not have much pumpkin flavor, we gave it an overall score of nine.

Pumpkin spice flavored Milano cookies caught our eyes as we approached the register at Target. Although they looked intriguing, they were ultimately disappointing. The pumpkin was artificially bright orange and tasted fake. Overall score: Negative five.

I was personally most excited for the Wild Friend’s Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter. While this peanut butter was delicious, I wouldn’t say it particularly tasted like pumpkin. It did have nice “fall vibes” though and definitely warmed the taste buds with its cinnamon flavor. Overall score: Eight.

A perfect pair to the peanut butter is Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice bagels. We heated one up in the toaster, and it was delicious for a store-bought bagel. It had a nice pumpkin flavor and definitely rivals Einstein’s pumpkin bagel. Overall score: 10.

Last but not least is the dairy-free, pumpkin pie flavored Halo Top. It’s pumpkin spice, dairy-free and low calorie. Literally, what else could you ask for? Overall score: 10.

There you have it — a definitive score of some of the best and worst pumpkin products on the market. Stay tuned for the peppermint ranking coming soon!

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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