It’s mid-October and along with the colder weather, changing leaves and colorful sweaters, you may have noticed the orange pumpkin spice products lining the shelves at grocery stores. Of course, we have all come to know the famous Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte that many people cozy up with during this season and subsequently mock in memes. But if you want to expand your palette this fall, here are some products you should seriously try — and some you should avoid.
- 1. Betty Crocker pumpkin spice mug cakes
The Betty Crocker pumpkin spice mug cakes are the perfect treat to reward yourself with after a long day of midterms and assignments. All you need is a mug, water or milk and a microwave. After one minute, you’ll have a perfectly sweet melt of cake topped with cream cheese frosting in your mouth. The pumpkin spice mixes well with the cake batter and provides that perfect fall flavor you’re looking for. Overall, it’s delicious. So light up a cinnamon-scented candle, grab a fuzzy blanket and indulge. You deserve it.
- 2. Pumpkin spice yogurt-covered pretzels
Sweet and salty flavored snacks are always a plus in my book, and these Giant Limited Time pumpkin spice yogurt-covered pretzels are a perfect mix of the two. These pretzels are great to try, especially if you have a bit of a sweet tooth. Plus, they can serve as a fall decoration in your living room when placed in a small decorative bowl, but be careful, because these snacks are tempting.
- 3. Pumpkin salsa
The Giant Limited Time Pumpkin Salsa exceeded my expectations, especially since I expected to never want to look at another pumpkin-flavored product again. The mix of spicy and sweet emulated mango habanero salsa, so if that is something you enjoy I’m confident you’ll indulge in this product this season. Pair it with corn or pita chips and it’s the perfect midday snack.
4, 5 and 6. Nature’s Path pumpkin spice waffles, General Mills’ Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, Giant Limited Time pumpkin spice oatmeal cup and Giant Limited Time pumpkin spice granola.
If you’re a breakfast person, Nature’s Path’s pumpkin spice waffles or General Mills’ Pumpkin Spice Cheerios are a great way to spice up your morning. Make sure you add lots of maple syrup to the waffles and eat the Cheerios with milk — you won’t regret it. The Giant Limited Time oatmeal cup and the Giant Limited Time granola, however, were disappointing. I could not taste the pumpkin spice flavor in either product. But if you’re looking for something with a less overwhelming pumpkin taste, this might be your thing.
7. Pumpkin spice Milano cookies
The pumpkin spice Milano cookies were also mediocre in terms of their pumpkin flavor. However, for someone who is not a huge fan of pumpkin spice, these cookies could be a good middle ground.
8. Pumpkin spice Twinkies
If I could choose one item that I wish I had never tasted, it would be the pumpkin spice Twinkies. I’m not a huge fan of Twinkies in general and adding pumpkin flavor to the crust was trifling. Needless to say, this product ended up in the trash. If you’re brave enough to try one, it’s certainly an experience.
9. Pumpkin pasta sauce
Following closely with the Twinkies was the pumpkin pasta sauce from the Giant Limited Time collection. As my roommates and I nervously dug into the plate of spaghetti, our expectations were already low. Although it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, when the sweet aftertaste flooded my mouth, I knew it wasn’t something I would be eating again.
10. Pumpkin spice mochi
Mochi ice cream itself is very popular and really tasty. However, I don’t recommend My/Mo Mochi’s pumpkin spice flavor. Although the first bite wasn’t bad and the ice cream inside was tasty, I did not find the pumpkin flavor on the outer rice dough to be very appetizing. Sadly, these ended up in the trash pile as well.
11 and 12. Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and Califia Farms pumpkin spice almond milk creamer
I topped off my pumpkin spice adventure with a VIA Instant Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks and Califia Farms’ pumpkin spice almond milk creamer. As long as the proportions of water are followed for the latte, this drink can be a great substitute if you are not able to go to your local Starbucks. The creamer is also extremely sweet and there is a considerable amount of pumpkin spice flavor, so you should only use a small amount if you choose to use this product.
Overall, after examining 12 options total — with three new products to add to my shopping list and three products I know to avoid at all costs — I would call this pumpkin spice tasting experience a success and a great way to celebrate fall from the comfort of your own home with your friends or roommates.