The plot of
Saw 9 is locking Bon Appétit employees in a small room and forcing them to taste 25 pumpkin spice products. Some begged to leave, while others accepted their fate and dove face-first into the Great Pumpkin Spice Taste Test, and a select few wrote passive-aggressive comments like "not happening" and "this product is canceled" in bold letters on their comment sheets. The original list of pumpkin-spiced foods was at least double what we actually tasted, but we narrowed it down to a few categories: drinks (yes, PSLs!), snacks and sweets, ice cream, cereal, yogurt, bars (# ), and total oddballs (like spray-on pumpkin spice—it's a thing).
After a long journey of (mostly) sugary treats, we found the
seven pumpkin spice products actually worth buying. Check them out below, ranked on how festive they taste—does this signal that it's FALL or not?—how intense the spice flavor was, and if we'd tell a friend to try it. Drinks Photo by Alex Lau Winner:
Whether or not Starbucks originated the pumpkin spice latte, they're definitely responsible for the seasonal drink's rabid popularity. This is the first year the PSL is being bottled and sold (in single-serve 14 oz. bottles for $2.79 and 40-oz bottles for $4.99) and tasters complimented its "actual coffee flavor," sweetness, and how closely it resembled the drink you buy at Starbucks shops. Unlike some of the other coffees we tasted, this was "actually balanced" and the "clove came through in the pumpkin spice blend." Don't fall for imitators—go with the OG PSL this season.
We were surprised that
wasn't the favorite since . Unfortunately the "thin, yet chalky" texture (even after several rounds of shaking the bottle) wouldn't go away, and the spices didn't evenly distribute through the drink. Some testers suggested adding an extra shot of espresso to make the coffee flavor more prominent.
A rare occurrence in PSL-land, the
didn't have enough pumpkin spice. There was a natural sweetness from the foamed milk—something we love about La Colombe's draft lattes—but otherwise just tasted of strong espresso and a "vague spice flavor."
If you want to add some pumpkin spice flavor to the coffee of your choice,
is kind of like almond milk creamer with an "oddly thick" texture. It has actual pumpkin in it, which "confuses your palate" a little bit. Snacks + Sweets Photo by Alex Lau Winner:
This is a vanilla cookie with a pumpkin spice filling that tasters called "subtle." It's "sweet but not too sweet" and has a "nice crunchy texture." Unfortunately we didn't dunk them in milk, but that may have been for the best. Compared to
—pumpkin cookies sandwiched together with pumpkin creme filling—the Oreos won by a landslide. Tasters called the TJ's version "overly spiced and crumbly" and remarked it tasted "a little lemony, somehow?" The Rest
On the other hand,
fared a little better with tasters because they were like the frosted animal crackers of our collective youth. They tasted more like gingersnap cookies than shortbread, they're festively shaped like pumpkins, and "crunchy little beads of sprinkles" helped enhance the texture.
The cookies to skip this season are
. "Why ruin a perfect cookie?" one taster questioned. "Milanos are amazing just the way they are," another added, noting "please reference Bruno Mars." It was overall too artificially-flavored and the pumpkin-chocolate combo didn't work out.
were beautifully swirled on the outside, but ugly inside. "Super odd after taste—brownie was moist and good, but the cheesecake was so SOUR and weird," said one taster said. Others felt "let down" after oohing over the dramatic marbled topping.
CURVEBALL: SAVORY PUMPKIN SPICE ALERT!
are sweet potato chips coated with a veeeery light coating of pumpkin spice. It was barely there, which was a good thing for most tasters. "It's like sweet tater chips with no salt," remarked one taster. That infuriated another, though: "Not salty or crunchy enough to be dignified as 'chips.' PICK A LANE!" Ice Cream Photo by Alex Lau Winner:
We never expected a low-calorie "light" ice cream to win the taste test, but it was a runaway favorite. It was "more coffee ice cream than pumpkin," but it was dubbed "excellent," "balanced," and "quite pleasant." One taster suggested blending it up with some coffee and making a caffeinated milkshake. Almost everyone said they'd suggest it to a friend.
The best way to describe
is "aggressive." The pumpkin spice flavor was overwhelming, but its saving grace was real chunks of pie—including crust! Good for someone who wants more texture, but tasters noted it wasn't something you could "eat a lot of at once."
A sugar high can be found easily in
. There's cheesecake, there's pumpkin pie-ish flavors, and a graham cracker swirl. Tasters were divided—some loved the sweetness and how thick the ice cream was, while others thought it was "a bit much." Cereal Photo by Alex Lau. Winner:
Sometimes childhood favorites can be upgraded, and pumpkin spicing (it's a verb!) Cheerios is a very good idea. "It actually has a grain flavor," one taster remarked of the subtle spice level. "It would make
great cereal milk," added another. If you're looking to jumpstart a crisp fall day, this is your cereal. Whereas had notes of "nothing" and were "underwhelming." Sad trombone. The Rest were adored by one editor so much that she ate a bowl for lunch. She wished they "took it up a notch" for more flavor, but tasters preferred the subtlety. This is another one we couldn't wait to taste the cereal milk afterward. Bars
Photo by Alex Lau Winner:
If you're looking for lots of pumpkin spice, the Kashi bar won't satisfy you. But if you want something more mellow and granola-forward, it'll do the trick. "Great for snacking during a country fair, apple picking, hiking, or at a hippie tractor pull," one taster commented. Overall, it's very crunchy and tastes "kind of just like a cinnamon granola bar."
pumpkin than spice in the . There was "real pumpkin...or at least the canned stuff" but the "spices aren't quite right—too much clove." Like other Lara bars, the texture is "dense," so we'd only recommend this if you're already a fan of the brand.
The same could be said about
, a divisively-textured bar—more like a brick—for the tasting group. It's "pretty brutally dense," remarked one taster, noting that it will "stick to your teeth." Yogurt
Photo by Alex Lau Winner: , an Icelandic strained yogurt, was a fan-favorite going in because of the thick, creamy texture. It's "less sweet and more sour" because of a lack of spices. The tanginess is nice for those who want to dip a toe into the pumpkin spice pool, but not dive in quite yet. It could match well with a crunched up Kashi bar or more heavily-spiced granola. The Rest
We tried Chobani's classic pumpkin yogurt and the
which adds delightful pie crust pieces, glazed pumpkin seeds, and pecans. If faced with both choices at the store, go for the one with the crunchies! The yogurt is a little "nutmeg heavy," but overall it's a fun way to eat pumpkin in the morning. The Oddballs
Photo by Alex Lau Winner:
Going into this tasting, no one expected a flavored butter spread—part butter, part canola oil—to be one of the best things we ate. It was effectively cinnamon butter, which we wished we had warm toast nearby to spread it on. Tasters noted they'd put it on a sweet potato at Thanksgiving, a waffle, or an English muffin. All were surprised at how much they liked it just on saltines. Oh, and this is one of the only fully-orange products we tasted. FESTIVE AF!
is supposed to be used to flavor cake batters, coffee, or anything else you could put pumpkin spice in. Since we didn't have any of these options, we sprayed it onto crackers and... don't do that. The concentrated flavor is way too cloying and intense. It tastes like cinnamon oil and the flavor and scent lingered for long after the taste test was done. The question remains: Why? Some people screamed after trying it (we are nearing Halloween...). You've been warned.
Maybe you could add that spray-on pumpkin spice to
to give it more flavor. This really tasted like regular peanut butter to us, with a very, very subtle hint of cinnamon. It's a quality PB though, so would not let it go to waste.
No one really talks about cough drop flavors, because they all kind of taste the same.
are no exception: they taste like menthol. But they're "sort of okay" and "as good-bad as any other cough drop," so if you have a cold, this is a valid option.
...We should probably get to a doctor to find out if you can overdose on pumpkin spice.
Source : https://www.bonappetit.com/story/great-pumpkin-spice-taste-test