Spicing up the fall season


Every fall, stores across the country roll out their pumpkin spice-flavored goods, but with so many products to consider it can be difficult to decide which are actually worth purchasing and which are just gimmicks to cash in on the trend. To solve that problem, reviewed here are five different pumpkin spice snacks and drinks.

Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew from Starbucks

Starbucks’s Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew arrived this year to fill the shoes of its piping-hot predecessor, the pumpkin spice latte, and does so exceedingly well.

The cold brew has a delightful pumpkin flavor, and the pumpkin spice topping is neither overpowering nor too weak to taste, even when mixed into the whole beverage. It is served with pale orange pumpkin foam floating on cold brew and dusted with a light coat of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.

I found the cream to be very enjoyable on its own, but in order to get the most of my drink I ended up mixing it all in. When I tried stirring in only a little bit of foam, it was impossible to taste the pumpkin or the spices.

With all things considered, I highly recommend it–especially in the heat we’re facing this fall.

Werther’s Original Pumpkin Spice Caramels

Though many are aware of the classic Werther’s Original hard caramels, they are not so cognizant of their other candies, such as the limited edition Pumpkin Spice soft caramels–and that’s a good thing. I say this as a devout fan of every other Werther’s product, but these candies are a disappointment.

They come wrapped individually in wax paper decorated with metallic orange lining around the label, but the candy inside does not live up to its packaging. They are flavorless, with cinnamon and pumpkin only vaguely discernible at the back of the tongue.

The next issue is the texture of the caramel itself. The foundation of these confections was not up to snuff to begin with–there is no caramelized flavor, no stretch like the packaging would lead one to believe and most of all, they are grainy. If properly made, caramel should be smooth, stretchy and sticky but these are sadly starchy.

In every aspect, these caramels disappoint. I would never recommend them.

Archer Farms Pumpkin Spice Rolled Wafers

As Target’s store brand, my expectations were relatively low for these creme-filled wafer sticks. So, when they turned out to be one of my favorites of everything I tried, I was pleasantly surprised.

Out of every pumpkin spice item I tried, these had the most spice flavor, leaning more heavily toward notes of clove than cinnamon, the reason I liked them so much. The clove created a warmer, spicier flavor than the other pumpkin spice products, which proved to be tasty and unique.

The wafer itself is also incredibly flaky and crunchy, but not messy because of the way it breaks cleanly. The filling is not overpowering in its sweetness either, though I would have preferred it be creamier than it is grainy from the sugar.

These wafers are surely one of my new fall favorites; something to look forward to each year.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate Creamer

If you’re into the fall mood but not exactly ready to drive to Starbucks every time you want a pumpkin spice latte, your best bet is Coffee Mate’s pumpkin spice creamer. At half the price of a latte for enough creamer to make 30 cups, this is my new favorite way to drink coffee.

Not only is the spiced flavor amazingly prominent, but it also has a heavenly aroma that mingles very well with the coffee’s acidity. I drink mine with espresso to maintain a strong flavor even with large amounts of creamer, and truly it is the best way to make the most of this product.

Aside from being inexpensive, the creamer also has tons of spice and pumpkin flavor, something that usually only comes out as an undertone in other pumpkin spice beverages. As a result, this creamer is something I will be buying every fall without fail.

Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

The pumpkin spice trend has spread further than the reaches of trendy cafes and snack foods, in this case to your morning cereal bowl. This breakfast classic’s new spin turned out to be surprisingly good, especially with milk.

At first, the flavor of pumpkin spice was unpleasantly overpowering, but after letting it sit in the milk for a minute or so, I was left with a bowl of pumpkin spice milk and only lightly flavored cheerios. This was decidedly the optimal way to eat them, as otherwise the cheerios would be too soggy or too flavorful.

In terms of flavor, they definitely are a cut above the rest of the pumpkin spice products, with real pumpkin puree that can be clearly tasted in the cereal. 

Considering the strong, unique flavor of the cheerios, though, I would only recommend buying a box with plans to share it, because the flavor becomes dull soon after the second or third bowl.