Every Thanksgiving as a child I woke up extra early for two reasons: to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and for some intense pie making with my mom. Pumpkin pie has been and will probably always be my favorite Thanksgiving dessert, or perhaps my favorite food of the entire fall season. Naturally, the Pumpkin Spice Latte has always been my go-to drink when it starts to get chilly outside.
11 years ago (around the same time my coffee addiction began), Starbucks’ menu icon, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, was born. A flavorful combination of espresso, pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon and all your childhood memories of apple picking and falling asleep on the couch and watching football with a stomach stuffed with turkey and cranberry sauce all poured into one cup. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte, or “PSL” for short, has created a full-blown flavor revolution in recent years. This year, it may have reached a new level that is even too much for some of its most adoring fans to handle, myself included. Companies other than Starbucks are slapping the words “pumpkin spice” on just about anything they can think of in order to capitalize on the flavor’s exploded popularity. You can pick up some pumpkin spice pancake mix, pumpkin spice whiskey, pumpkin spice pudding, pumpkin spice lollipops, pumpkin spice Greek yogurt, pumpkin spice body lotions and soap, pumpkin spice protein powder, pumpkin spice chewing gum and worst of all, pumpkin spice Oreos (why, just why). Starbucks, what have you done?
Starbucks themselves are even over-excited about the craze, this year they brought the PSL to stores in mid-August, when we were still wearing shorts and sucking down venti iced coffees. The seasonal latte usually joins menus at the beginning of October, during that perfect time when you’re wrapped up in a scarf and actually need it to warm you up. If you can even believe it, the Starbucks marketing team thought it was a fantastic idea to personify the latte and give him his own Twitter account (I’m only bitter because he has a lot more followers than me).
In response to this craziness, I think I might sit pumpkin spice season out this time around. There’s no room in my pantry for anything other than double stuffed Oreos. As for my Starbucks lattes, just call me when the Christmas flavors roll in.