In honor of Starbucks' Pumpkin Spice Latte debuting for the 2015 season today, Sept. 8, we rounded up some of the other pumpkin-influenced products ready to convince us it's actually fall, ranked on a scale of Worth a Try to Um, Why?
Chobani Flip Pumpkin Harvest Crisp
Many yogurt brands now produce a pumpkin or pumpkin pie flavor, and most aren't bad, but Chobani's "flip" series tops them all. On one side of the package, there's low-fat pumpkin yogurt; on the other, pie crust pieces, pecans and glazed pumpkin seeds that you dump into the yogurt. The result is just the right amount of a decadent, rich snack that would even be good as a lighter-than-pie dessert.
Planters Pumpkin Spice Almonds
Not our first choice when it comes to flavored almonds — savory is the way to go! — but the pumpkin flavors in this product taste much better than in some of the other items on this list.
G.H. Cretors Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn
This gourmet popcorn (available in local grocery stores) is mixed with a blend of real pumpkin and cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. The addition of whole pumpkin seeds and walnut pieces makes the mix extra appealing, and the taste is good, though like most pumpkin spice-flavored products, I can't imagine eating more than handful without the flavor getting to be too much.
Dairy Queen Pumpkin Pie Blizzard Treat
Anything that melds the flavors of pumpkin pie and ice cream, we can get behind. Dairy Queen's signature frozen beverage blends pumpkin pie pieces with vanilla soft serve and tops the whole thing off with whipped cream topping and nutmeg.
Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels/Kellogg's Eggo Seasons Pumpkin Spice Waffles/Kellogg's Frosted Pumpkin Pie Pop‑Tarts
Ah, the convenient-breakfast-item category. All three of these seem a rather natural fit for pumpkin flavor, their breadlike products a good vessel for what really tastes mostly like cinnamon — especially when toasted. The bagels, at least, are made with real pumpkin.
Pumpkin Spice Latte M&M's
Note that the flavor here is Pumpkin Spice Latte, not merely Pumpkin Spice. This version of the chocolate candy is apparently being produced to taste like Starbucks' drink, not merely pumpkin pie spices. Here's a firsthand account of the taste from intrepid Times staffer Chelsea Tatham: "The candy is fatter than normal M&M's, close to how big the peanut butter ones are. They taste like how a pumpkin spice candle would smell. They aren't as sweet as I expected, more fragrancy (if that's a word). I think the taste has to do with the pumpkin spice melding with the M&M chocolate. I think it would taste a little better if it wasn't a chocolate and pumpkin spice mix."
Nature's Promise Organic Pumpkin Spice Chicken Sausage
We could not find these flavored sausages locally (they seem mostly available in grocery stores like Martin's up in the Northeast), but their very existence merits mention on this list. We can't knock the organic sausage, but the addition of these fall flavors seems really unnecessary and artificial.
Pumpkin Pie Pinnacle Vodka
Of all the pumpkin-flavored things we could imagine, vodka would not come to mind. Something about forcing martinis and pumpkin pie into the same category just seems wrong. But if you're into pumpkin-flavored cocktails, Pinnacle has a slew of recipe ideas on its website.