When Pumpkin Spice Jumped the Shark

I like me some pumpkin flavoring, in a few things. For example, one of my favorite fall desserts is a nice, moist pumpkin roll. And, of course, pumpkin pie is a must at Thanksgiving.

But at some point in the past two years, the pumpkin spice craze has utterly exploded, and now it’s being used in everything from coffee (which I deem acceptable) to car fresheners. I don’t know if that latter example is literally true, but I’d bet $5 it is.

I think pumpkin for use in consumables is fine. I, personally, don’t like flavored coffee at all, so I’m not going to pick up a pumpkin spice latte, but if you are excited about that, I’m cool. I’m still somewhat skeptical about pumpkin beer, for goodness sakes, which puts me in the minority among my friends. I’ve had one or two, with the appropriately sugared serving glasses, and nothing has knocked my socks off. I lack the impulse to go out and stock up on PumKing. It’s just not my thing.

But you have at it.

I think the clearest signs that pumpkin spice everything jumped the shark was two-fold.

1. Pumpkin beers hit the shelves this year in August. That is akin to the Christmas creep in the retail space, and as such, I deem it unacceptable. Given the accelerated pace, this means Christmas beers will be in stores by the end of October. It’s just wrong, people. Knock that shit off.

2. Pumpkin spice is in everything. For all I know, it’s in the Get-Go fuel I put in my car. It started innocently enough, with coffee and beer and muffins. And scones and cookies and pumpkin bread. And I won’t turn down a nice creamy curried pumpkin soup. But thanks to my friend Kim Z. Dale, it has come to my attention that there are pumpkin spice air fresheners and e-cig… what are those, cartridges? (I don’t get e-cigarettes. And as a long-time smoker, I think that’s saying something.)

Kim wrote her own post on the pumpkin spice madness, complete with a slide show. We are of the same mind: Pumpkin spice cream cheese? Fine. Pumpkin spice facials? Just say no.

It’s gone too far. Whatever happened to nice, simple pumpkin PIE flavoring? Why’s it gotta be pumpkin SPICE?

I vote that we bring back apple as a flavoring for fall. Not apple spice or applesauce or apple cinnamon. Apple. Plain and crisp.

(h/t to @_chrislovett who proposed the idea for this post in the first place, and to Kim aka @observacious, who dubbed the pumpkin spice latte “patient zero” in all things pumpkin spice related)

Where do you draw the line on all things pumpkin?

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Patient Zero

image source

6 thoughts on “When Pumpkin Spice Jumped the Shark

  1. Weeelllllll, technically, pumpkin pie flavoring IS spice. Cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger.

    But, I hear you. I am a worshipper of pumpkin pie and I am OVER this craze.

  2. Preach on, sister. I went to Aldi the other day and was bombarded by pumpkin bread mix, pumpkin chips, pumpkin Pop-tarts, pumpkin waffles (which my kids surprised me by eating)…it’s everywhere and you’re right. It starts in August. Enough!

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