Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Pumpkin.

Spice.

And everything nice. These are the ingredients to make the perfect Basic Girl.

But everyone accidentally decided do this one thing:

Put in everything.

*Kaboom*

Thus, the pumpkin spice movement was born, selling in stores everywhere: bakeries, coffee shops, home goods stores and…halloween stores?

If you didn’t catch on, I just parodied The Powerpuff Girls intro. If you’re too old to know what that is, look it up; and, it pains me to say, if you’re too young to know this (I know, I’m getting old), look it up on your tablet since every three year old is equipped with practically every Apple product.

Pumpkin Spice reminds me of the famous “rose gold” trend. Though it’s not food, rose gold became the new semi-affordable way to look expensive in 2015. It was everywhere: clothes, jewelry, watches, furniture, now iPhones. Pumpkin spice has taken on the same ubiquity.

Last week I saw pumpkin spice cream cheese and puked a little inside my mouth. I mean, really? Why does this flavor traverse all things food, clothing, and culture?

It turns out there is something about pumpkin spice that is unifying.

First, the smell and flavor is pleasant to most people. Pumpkin spice is balanced — not too sweet, and not so strong that it would cause headaches and worn out tongues from over-stimulation. It turns out that pumpkin spice is not a new fad, but an old one. It was common in popular baked goods like ginger snaps, bringing a feeling of nostalgia.

Another reason why pumpkin spice is so popular? It’s multicultural.

The ingredients of pumpkin spice, according to Kantha Shelke, a food scientist at Corvus Blue, a Chicago food science firm, are dry ginger, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon. The combination of these spices and ingredients have been commonly found in cultures from Middle Eastern Baklava, to Indian Chai, to American Pumpkin Pie. It can resonate with an international audience because everyone’s had some combination of it’s ingredients in their own cuisine. After reading more about pumpkin spice’s origins, I grew less cynical about its aggressive marketing everywhere I turned.

But two things are for sure:

1. The Spice girls missed out on a lucrative spice.

2. I am never eating Pumpkin Spice cream cheese.

One Reply to “Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice”

  1. Two things I can’t understand: pumpkin spice does not taste like pumpkin. Sweet potato and pumpkin pie taste exactly the same!!! I like my sweet pumpkin [whatever] made with coconut milk. Some cardamon seed goes nice too!

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