It’s that time of your again, when sweaters start to make their way out of their summer hibernation, the sun starts setting earlier, and all we want to do after work is sit under a blanket on the couch and watch Netflix. It’s also pumpkin spice season, when a spice mix that’s traditionally associated with pumpkin pie seems to take over the entire country. But even though the trend has been raging for years, some people still don’t realize that pumpkin spice-flavored foods and drinks don’t usually contain real pumpkin unless otherwise specified, so we’re taking it upon ourselves to at least make sure that you know this.
Even though the spice blend commonly associated with pumpkin spice has been in use for well over a century, it didn’t really catch on as a fad until Starbucks first came out with their Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003. Over the past 14 years, each fall season has brought about more and more pumpkin spice-flavored foods, and only a small percentage of them contain anything resembling real pumpkin (ironically, Starbucks began adding a small amount of pumpkin purée to its Pumpkin Spice Lattes in 2015).
If you see the words “pumpkin spice,” don’t assume that there’s pumpkin involved. What you can assume is that whatever you’re about to eat or drink contains some combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice.