Sunday, September 10, 2017

Which Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Spray is the Best?

  • Febreze Pumpkin has a weird artificial first impression and settles into smelling vaguely like cheap scented detergent -- 1/10
  • Glade Cozy Autumn Cuddle is meant to smell of "heirloom pumpkin, caramel and spice" but all I am getting is burnt sugar and fly spray -- 2/10
  • Mainstays Pumpkin Spice Room Spray is a cinnamon-heavy scent that fades away quickly -- 4/10
  • Febreze Pumpkin Bliss is a mild woody-cakey spray that is pleasant in a low key way -- 5/10
  • Pier 1 Imports Pumpkin Spice is sweet and spicy but lacks any scent that suggests pumpkin -- 5/10
  • Glade Pumpkin Pit Stop is sweet and spicy and has a brightness that works reasonably well to freshen a room -- 6/10

Out of this lot I would put Pumpkin Pit Stop at the top but none of them are exactly eau de Mom's home cooking

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September 5th, and So it Begins

The modern pumpkin spice trend was instigated by Starbuck's invention of the pumpkin spice latte in 2003.  This makes Starbucks like the Pope of PSL doctrine, including the timing of the first day of the pumpkin spice season, as marked by the first day the pumpkin spice latte is available in all of their stores nationwide.

Like any religious event there is sometimes a little wiggle room on the timing, but typically the first day is September first. In 2014 there was the great premature spice-ifi-cation when they launched the seasonal drink on August 25th, before reverting to the usual schedule.

This year there was an inexplicable delay and the launch was September 5th.  Is this a bad omen? Only time will tell. You can probably still squeeze int he time to get a few PSL lattes before the vanish again in mid-December.

Friday, August 4, 2017

The Pepper named after Pumpkin Spice

The The New Mexico State University Chile Pepper Breeding Program has brought out a number of color variants of chili pepper with whimsical names like Sunrise, Sunglo, and eElipse.

Their latest invention is a set of jalapenos (Capsicum annuum) that ripen into yellow, orange and "pumpkin orange" colors. These are called ‘NuMex Lemon Spice’, ‘NuMex Orange Spice’, and ‘NuMex Pumpkin Spice'. Seeds can be bought online form the Chile Pepper Institute.

Bosland, P. W., & Coon, D. (2015). ‘NuMex Lemon Spice’,‘NuMex Pumpkin Spice’, and ‘NuMex Orange Spice’JalapeƱos. HortScience, 50(7), 1104-1105.

The season begins, ever earlier

It is the first day of summer where I needed to put on a pair of socks to stop my ankles from getting chilly. And fox reports that pumpkin spice products are already hitting the shelves. Time to "fall-clean" the blog and get ready for a new round of tasting and testing!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Portillo's Pumpkin Pie Shakes Are Kind of Amazing

Why has no one told me about this before? Just last Friday I decided to treat myself to Portillo's and discovered their seasonal offering of the pumpkin pie shake.

Portillo's is already somewhat famous for their year round offering of a chocolate cake shake.  This is literally a piece of chocolate cake, crumbed (not blended finely), and mixed into a chocolate shake.

Well, they have applied this same direct approach to getting pumpkin pie into a vanilla shake.  The little morsels of pumpkin spiced pie filling and graham cracker crust are ah-mazing.  Get this one while you can.

Just try not to think about how many calories it is, probably like a billion.  Just trust me, it is worth it to try this at least once.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Pumpkin Spice goes well with... Cranberry

Pumpkin can be a very heavy flavor that can even develop and oily or musty taste.  A great flavor to add pop and brightness, and connect the savory pumpkin with the warm spice flavors is dried cranberry.

Pumpkin spice and cranberry helps you slide happily from fall towards the Christmas season. Examples of products that use this combination to great effect are listed below.  If you know if any others, please let me know!
  •  Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cranberry crisps.  A pumpkin Melba toast studded with dried cranberries. These crisps ride the border between savory and sweet, and so go well with both savory and sweet toppings and dips.  I would recommend paring with Beemster Pumpkin Spice Gouda and a relish or jelly of your choice!
  • And wash it down with the Pumpkick Spiced Season Ale.  Cranberry and lemongrass flavors make this a very light and fresh tasting ale that really stands apart from all the other pumpkin spice-inspired beers.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Pastries (Bars, Biscuits & Toaster Pastries)--updated10/20/2016

ThinkThin Pumpkin Spice Protein & Fiber Bar--8.5/10
A chewy bar with little crispy bits covered in a white chocolatey coating.  Also high in protein and fiber. Bonus!

Special K Pumpkin Spice Pastry Crisps--8/10
Sweet, flavorful and low calorie.  Will buy again.

Belvita Pumpkin Spice Breakfast Biscuits--7/10
On first taste there four little biscuits seem kind of bland.  But they are one of the few pumpkin spice pastries I have re-bought after the first box was empty.  They are a great little snack for work or wherever, tasty without being so sweet so they leave me with sugar cravings.

Pop tarts.--7/10
So bad but so good.  The pumpkinny filling is a step up from the usual purely sugary filling.  Overall everything a shamelessly guilty pleasure should be.

Trader Joe's 'So This Pumpkin Walked Into a Bar'--6/10
Basically a giant squishy pumpkin version of a fig newton. Pleasant but nothing to write home about.

Trader Joe's Organic Frosted Toaster Pastries--5/10
Like the pumpkin spice pop tarts but with all the fun drained out of them, but still 200 calories per pastry.