BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Every season seems to usher in the return of an annual tradition or even a specific mindset.
Many Louisianans greet spring with a renewed focus on growth and fun by embarking on spring cleaning activities and preparing for Mardi Gras.
And then there’s the overwhelming sense of relief students across the state feel every summer, when hours spent in classrooms are replaced with long days of relaxation and family vacations.
Winter, too, is often viewed with anticipation as families across Louisiana look forward to getting together for holiday dinners and gift exchanges.
But what about fall?
Not only does this time of year mark the reopening of local campuses and the start of the holiday season, but there is a specific fall flavor that makes a rather showy appearance on grocery store shelves and coffee shops across America.
The pumpkin spice craze seems to return every autumn, and if it seems the trend is losing its footing, statistics indicate America’s love affair with the fall favorite is far from disappearing.
How many pumpkin spice lattes does Starbucks sell?
According to CNBC, Starbucks alone reportedly sells more than 20 million pumpkin spice lattes annually.
But has our obsession with creating new takes on pumpkin spice gone too far?
Check out the five pumpkin spice flavored offerings below and decide for yourself if these niche products are unique or simply too extreme.
Would you try any of these five pumpkin spice creations?
1/ Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Hummus
The rich and creamy umami flavors found in hummus can breathe life into the blandest of crackers and raw vegetables.
But what happens when pumpkin spice flavors are added to the beloved Middle Eastern snack?
Interestingly, some of the customers who purchased Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Hummus described it as “delicious” and “addictive.” One reviewer even said they were “blown away” by the unique taste.
Boar’s Head offers a similar product, Pumpkin Pie Dessert Hummus, which is also likely to raise a few eyebrows among fans of traditional hummus.
2/ Pumpkin Spice Oreos
According to The Takeout, this fall, Pumpkin Spice Oreos have been resurrected since their 2017 debut.
Oreo touts the specialty product as “the classic original snack cookies you’ve always known and loved, but with the unforgettable twist of pumpkin spice flavor creme to celebrate fall.”
Those who choose to try the sandwich cookies will find the pumpkin spice in the creme filling that sits between two golden wafer cookies.
3/ Pumpkin Spice Nissin cup Noodles
Even Nissin admits that this concoction may be a few steps too far past normal.
The company is widely known for its popular and convenient ramen noodles. But when it comes to this fall specialty, the traditional ramen flavors have been replaced with a bolder flavor profile.
On its website, the company says, “There’s a fine line between genius and insanity … Care to cross it with us? Cup Noodles jumps on the Pumpkin Spice crazy train with a special pumpkin seasoning that’s the perfect blend of sweet, savory and spiced.”
The company adds, “For the full pumpkin spice experience, top it with whipped cream for the quickest, tastiest and most outlandish pumpkin spice in-a-cup experience you never knew you needed!”
Nissin says anyone brave enough to try whipped cream with pumpkin spice noodles can pop into a local Walmart to purchase the specialty item.
4/ Pepperidge Farm Limited Edition Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Goldfish
Most fans of Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish crackers would agree it’s the sort of snack you intend to eat one handful of only to find yourself, moments later, full of crumbs and holding an empty bag.
But can the same be said of Goldfish that taste of pumpkin, donut glaze, cinnamon, and cloves?
Dunkin and Pepperidge Farm believe the answer to this question is yes.
The two partnered to create the limited-edition Goldfish® Dunkin’™ Pumpkin Spice Grahams.
According to Campbell Snacks -the company that owns Pepperidge Farm- this new take on the beloved Goldfish cracker is intended to “give pumpkin spice lovers a new way to experience the sweet side of their favorite snack.”
5/ Pumpkin Spice Philadelphia Cream Cheese
Philadelphia Cream Cheese is encouraging customers to jazz up their bagels with this fall specialty. The 150-year old company is veering away from traditional flavors and embracing the sweetness of real pumpkin and cinnamon with its Pumpkin Spice flavored option.
Some of the specialities above might pique your interest while others elicit a firm, “No, thanks.”
That said, if you’re interested in a more traditional approach to fall flavors, local bakeries and other eateries in Baton Rouge offer a variety of options.
Traditional fall specialties are available at these local eateries
Ambrosia Bakery is tempting customers with Pumpkin Drop Cookies, which are described as offering “the perfect flavor of pumpkin spice topped with cream cheese.”
Cupcake Junkie is giving a nod to another traditional autumn flavor with its pecan pie cupcakes. As this is a specialty item, interested customers should call first to make sure the cupcakes are available.
Another Broken Egg Cafe is infusing breakfast with the best of fall’s flavors. Customers can start their day with the cafe’s pumpkin waffle, which is described as a “Belgian pumpkin-infused waffle topped with pecans, cinnamon spiced compound butter, and powdered sugar.”
These autumn-inspired options from local restaurants and bakeries are just a few of the specialty items capital area foodies can enjoy this fall.
While national chains garner respectful acknowledgment for their unique pumpkin-spiced creations, in some cases, the taste of these concoctions may be questionable.
On the other hand, locals are sure to enjoy the best of fall’s flavors as they make their way through Baton Rouge’s most popular menus.