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Starbucks is adding real pumpkin to its seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes

This week, Starbucks finally realized it can no longer get away with not having real pumpkin in its massively popular Pumpkin Spice Latte drink — not when other food companies like General Mills and Panera Bread

Starbucks announced Monday that its seasonal Pumpkin Spice Lattes — for some of us, the true harbinger of Florida fall — will now be made with actual pumpkin. You know, instead of chemicals that taste like what we wished pumpkin tasted like.

Peter Dukes, Starbucks' director of espresso, Americas (can I have that job?), has the details:

"After hearing from customers and partners about ingredients, we took another look at this beverage and why we created it so many years ago. It was simple -- espresso, perfectly steamed milk, warm fall spices with delicious flavor of pumpkin pie that reminds you of the cool, crisp days of autumn. So, with that great taste you know and love, the PSL returns this fall, and this time it will be made with real pumpkin and without caramel coloring."

He went on in a blog post

• Espresso

• Milk

• Pumpkin Spice Flavored Sauce (Sugar, Condensed Skim Milk, Pumpkin Puree, Contains 2% or Less of Fruit and Vegetable Juice for Color, Natural Flavors, Annatto (Color), Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt)

• Whipped Cream (Light Whipping Cream [Cream, Mono and Diglycerides, Carrageenan])

• Starbucks Vanilla Syrup (Sugar, Water, Natural Flavors, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Citric Acid)

• Pumpkin Spice Topping (Cinnamon, Ginger, Nutmeg, Clove)

The announcement comes a year after a blogger's viral quest to find out

No word yet on when exactly the PSL will make its grand debut this year, though in 2014 you could buy the drink starting Sept. 2, a mere – wait for it – 15 DAYS from now. Given the glut of Halloween decorations I saw this weekend at JoAnn Fabrics, I wouldn't be surprised to see it even sooner.

For more contemplation on all things pumpkin-flavored, do read this Times piece from 2012

Here's the thing about pumpkins: They're just squash.

Know what people never say about pumpkins? That they taste like pumpkin. Know why? Because pumpkin is disgusting. The guts of a pumpkin are slimy like bad lettuce and don't taste much better. Mix it, though, with sugar and spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, so that it's mostly that and not what it actually is, and pumpkin tastes like . . .

. . . warmth and comfort.

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