Starbucks recently announced that the Pumpkin Spice Latte (or #PSL, for short) is making its fall return a few weeks early this year. The official release is set for September 2, but Starbucks has organized an online scavenger hunt to give away the lattes as early as August 25. Needless to say, everyone is in a tizzy. The
white girl cult-favorite is one of the unofficial markers of autumn and the center of lots of white girl jokes on the Internet.
We think it's safe to say that no company will ever be able to market a flavor like Starbucks can. Fast food chains constantly try to make their own budget-friendly versions of the PSL, but they can never get the recipe right. Now, even snack companies are hopping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon.
The results have been interesting. We've found some of the strangest snacks with the "pumpkin spice" brand attached to it. We're not saying that they're all gross, but they're definitely worth taking a look at. We'll tell you all about them, whether or not they're worth trying, and our new appreciation for junk food critics...right now.
Pumpkin Spice JIF Whips
We had to update this list with this new addition from Junk Food Guy-pumpkin spice JIF whips. It's a flavored peanut butter with a whipped texture. According to JFG, the texture is the best part. He maintains that after a few bites, it starts to just taste like plain ol' peanut butter. You'd better pass on this one. And we might have to disagree with JFG about the texture of this stuff, it looks a little strange.
Pumpkin Spice Eggo Waffles
Did you know that there are blogs devoted to reviewing "junk food" and other grocery-related products? They're out there. The Frozen Food Master from Freezer Burns gave these seasoned waffles a positive review, and it seems that lots of other people are excited about them as well.
That might be because when you heat them in the toaster or oven, it makes your house smell like pumpkin spice. One reviewer even commented that they bought extra so that they could avoid going to Yankee Candle. Clever. While we're not frozen waffle fans, we might give these a try.
Pumpkin Spice Pringles
Pringles has a history of releasing strange flavors, from pumpkin spice to grilled shrimp, and they're usually hit or miss. The reviews for this limited edition chip are hit or miss, as well. A few people said that they didn't have enough of the pumpkin taste, but some mentioned that they taste like tiny fried pumpkin pies.
We'll have to see for ourselves, but we can confidently advise Pringles to stick to the original flavors. No one wants to taste a complex dessert or entree in chip form.
Pumpkin Spice Oreos
While we're on the subject of Pringles, Oreo cookies are another snack that have started to get weird with their flavors. The golden Oreo was the first big mistake, but we've since forgiven them and looked past it. Until now. These pumpkin spice Oreo's are brand new. They're not on the website though, we had to find it through Consumerist.
Apparently, only a few people have had the pleasure of trying them, but from what they say, they're going to be good. It hasn't been confirmed if this is an upcoming flavor but they are releasing candy apple Oreo's, so anything is possible.
Pumpkin Spice M&M's
These came out last year along with a carrot cake flavor. The general consensus about these limited edition M&M's is that they're a bust. Adam from the Impulsive Buy thinks that the cinnamon-heavy aftertaste is what might throw you off.
That, and they aren't made with real pumpkins. We love candy and we REALLY love M&M's, but we tried these last year and couldn't really get behind them. The carrot cake flavor was another miss. We simply just prefer the classic milk chocolate M&M's. In bulk, of course.
Pumpkin Spice Ghirardelli Squares
When it comes to the limited edition holiday candy, we usually don't think of Ghirardelli's pumpkin spice chocolate squares. In fact, the only seasonal square that comes to mind when we think of Ghirardelli is their peppermint bark variety.
Have you tried the pumpkin spice Ghirardelli squares? Let us know your thoughts. It's been our understanding that Ghirardelli can do no wrong when it comes to chocolate squares with gooey filling.
Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts
While Pop Tarts have mastered the art of combining breakfast and dessert, we think that their target demographic might skip out on this flavor. Pumpkin spice isn't a flavor that most kids crave. For starters, most kids don't like vegetables. Even though pumpkins are technically considered fruit, it's all mushy veggies to kids.
From what we've read, these breakfast treats fare better with adults. No one was blown away by them, but no one has said they're bad. Pop Tart enthusiasts (yes, they exist) maintain that they wouldn't trade them for their beloved blueberry and strawberry.
Pumpkin Spice Country Crock Butter
Pumpkin spice-flavored vegetable oil spread? Apparently it's a thing...and a popular thing, at that. But if the year-long shelf life makes you nervous, you're not alone. If you want a thicker and natural version of this spread, we'd suggest this recipe for pumpkin spice butter from All Recipes.
We're not saying that Country Crock doesn't make good vegetable oil spreads-it does. But when it comes to adding a flavor and enhancing a spread to put on your toast or bagel, it's probably just best to make it yourself.
Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies
Milano cookies, much like Pringles and Oreo's, have recently expanded their flavors. Except that unlike Pringles and Oreo's, they've kept it pretty conservative. Thanks for that, Milano.They have dulce de leche, lemon and chocolate, and pumpkin spice, among others.
According to the Junk Food Guy, these pumpkin spice Milanos are delicious. We've tried the dulce de leche Milanos and we weren't blown away. In general, Milano cookies have had successful seasonal runs, so this actually might be worth a try.
Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows
Jet-Puffed has many flavored marshmallows, including coconut toasted, cinnamon bun, and pumpkin spice. According to Carrie from Serious Eats, the pumpkin spice type fares the best. Plus, the pumpkin shape of the mallows are pretty cute.
But it leaves us wondering what you could use flavored marshmallows for besides making Rice Krispie treats? We don't think pumpkin spice s'mores would taste very good, and we don't want to put them on top of hot cocoa.
Pumpkin Spice Pudding
We're pretty sure that this seasonal Jello pudding might be used in baking pies, cookies, and cakes, but picturing a big bowl of slimy pumpkin-flavored goo makes us kind of sick. We're going to suggest that if you ever get a hankering for pumpkin pudding, just pick up a can of pumpkin puree, and some other key baking ingredients and make it from scratch.
Pumpkin Spice Mints
Prior to writing this, we had never heard anything about Ice Chips. But if you watch ABC's Shark Tank, you may have seen the creators of the candy before. Charlotte Clary and Bev Vines-Haines began their candy business years before going on the show, and needed help expanding their business. They got a deal.
But back to the pumpkin mints: they're sugar-free candies that are safe for diabetics. Apparently the mints also combat bacteria and tooth decay. Given the countless positive reviews on these mints, we'd say that they're worth a try.
Pumpkin Spice Gum
Just as we were about to publish this post, we saw that Marvo from The Impulsive Buy added a new pumpkin spice snack; so new that we don't have much information on it, other than it's pumpkin spice gum. Although it's a new and strange concept for us, it has to be better than fruit-flavored gum.
Pumpkin Spice Bagels
How about spreading that Country Crock pumpkin spice butter across these pumpkin spice bagels? At what point does too much pumpkin spice? Might be overkill. Especially since these things have bits of pureed pumpkin inside of them. So if you're looking for something close to authentically pumpkin, these are probably a good breakfast option for you.