I'm the first to admit that I am not a fan of pumpkin spice. I have tried the lattes, the doughnuts, the cookies and even the candles, and I still don't get the hype. However, my college roommates, high school friends and even my brother, on the other hand welcome the flavor wholeheartedly. As a result, I felt like I was always missing out; maybe my taste palate was not mature enough to enjoy a spice that everyone seems to love. However, with this pandemic and my constant need to have something sweet in the house, I realized that I do not need pumpkin spice and neither do you.

Find Warm Spices

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Though my taste buds do not agree with this flavor, I accept that pumpkin spice is a taste that embodies fall. According to my brother, it is a spice that is warm, encompassing, and keeps you content when the cold and the dark creep closer. 

Pumpkin spice is just an amalgamation of different warm spices. Thinking about warm scents and flavors, I realized that vanilla is the most common one. It may not seem as warm as it is notoriously known to be the quintessential ice cream flavor, but vanilla is actually an intricate flavor from either natural or synthetic vanillin. Being so common in baked goods, vanilla may not seem like a fall flavor or scent to try out at first, but you would be surprised with the intensity that vanilla comes with, from either extract or from the bean. My favorite hot cocoa recipe requires a bit of vanilla extract and it completely transforms the drink to a thick chocolate blanket that warms your mouth, and it is all thanks to the vanilla added. If vanilla is not your cup of tea, then try cinnamon. It is just as much of a warm flavor and a lot more earthy, which I believe is a more than suitable option to use for pumpkin spice.

Look for Different Fall Vegetables

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The concept of pumpkin spice has transitioned to even savory items such as the Spicy Pumpkin Samosas from Trader Joes. Even before trying this new item, I appreciate the general idea of it: warm, savory and a non-dessert option. If this is not something you can stand by, there are many other vegetables that can also be transformed. Pumpkins seem to be an imperative representation of fall, yet there are so many other vegetables that are just as great. Fall comes with vegetables ranging from artichokes to chard, beets to eggplant and fennel to winter squashes. A close relative of pumpkins are squashes, which can enhance any dish. More specifically, I think butternut squashes are a great substitute for anything pumpkin related. The appeal of pumpkins and spices attributed to it seem to be the picturesque recipes for fall, but there are a variety of different vegetables and other warm spices that can be used to provide the same feeling.

I am not here to bash on the pumpkin-spiced lovers. It is an interesting flavor, but a flavor I can't seem to like. I am here to tell the people who honestly do not like pumpkin spice that they can still enjoy fall and the excitement and buzz that comes with pumpkin-spice. You can substitute the flavors or the pumpkin altogether, and create different recipes to give the same cozy feeling. I hope this article gives you a perspective that if you do not like pumpkin-spice, you definitely do not need pumpkin spice!