“You can’t spell ‘basic’ without ‘PSL.’”
~Wait Actually You Can
Pumpkin Spice Latte is a combination of words that usually can be seen in conjunction with phrases like, “Those damn Millennials” and, “Got no respect for their elders.” We’re not going to talk about Pumpkin Spice Lattes being good, bad, or appearing on menus earlier and earlier each year because you’ve all read a dozen of mouth-breathing articles on that topic already. Pumpkin Spice Lattes are, at the end of the day, one of those things that a lot of people get mad about when they really shouldn’t. Like, some people like to drink coffee that has cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves and allspice in it during the Fall, why…why should we care one way or the other? Like, we’re seriously asking here, did your family get killed in a cinnamon farming accident, or are you just knee-jerk reacting to some trend that’s popular among people who are younger than you?
Anyway, the point being, we’re not here to shit on you if you enjoy yourself a nice PSL from time to time. You do you. But even if the days of the Pumpkin Spice Latte are waning, and the PSL will soon to join Uggs as retired totems of basicness, companies are still trying to wring each little ounce of profit out of the PSL craze, which, unfortunately, has given us a lot of pumpkin spice products that should never exist.
So while we support you and your right to a Pumpkin Spice Latte on a nice fall day, we do not support these products, which take pumpkin spice to terrifying, gross places.
America’s Worst Pumpkin Spice Latte-Flavored Products
Pumpkin spice has been around forever, though in America we used to only encounter it during the fall and winter holidays in the form of pumpkin pie, which, statistically, is either one of your favorite pies or is by far your least favorite pie. It wasn’t until Starbucks got their foamy little hands on it and in 2003 released their first formula for pumpkin spice latte flavoring (they changed it in 2015 to actually include real pumpkins, as if we actually cared that there was no pumpkin there before) that the PSL became a cultural phenomenon. And that meant copycats.
Pumpkin Spice Vape Juice
Now, this probably isn’t something that tastes bad. Like, it’s just vape juice that’ll be pumpkin-spicy. But, God, have some self-respect, guys. This is the most clichéd basic combination we’ve ever heard of. The person vaping with pumpkin spice isn’t a real person who exists in the world, it’s composite character created for a Vimeo-only-distributed spin-off of The Real Housewives of Dallas. Her name is Neveah, she’s married to a successful real estate broker, and she’s really hoping to launch her country pop career. Neveah is the only person who can get away with smoking this shit, and that’s because she signed a sponsorship deal with (spins the Google wheel) oh let’s say these guys. God, what a train wreck.
Pumpkin Spice Moonshine
We were willing to give a flyer to pumpkin spice vodka, since vodka’s a neutral enough spirit that the end result probably doesn’t taste too bad. But pumpkin spice moonshine? That feels like borderline treason. Corsair Distillery takes it one step further by actually pretending like they’re not just riding the latest beverage trend du jour with claims that this is a throwback to the good old days when things were done right. If you go to the distillery’s website, they describe their product by claiming, “Commercial pumpkin spice beer is a product of the craft brewing movement of the 1890’s. Before this, there existed a great tradition of vegetable beers using a variety of vegetables. Historical research shows pumpkin was used in beers by early American coloinists [sic].”
Like, what the hell does that even say about anything? They literally decided to tell you about their pumpkin spice moonshine by saying that back in the olden days Americans used to use pumpkins to…brew beer? Like, they know that they’re selling unaged white whiskey, and not beer, right? That’s a completely different product. That’s suspicious as hell. If we go to a restaurant and ask, “How is the duck?” and the waiter said, “Well, in pioneer days, many Americans subsided on squirrel meat and even grew to consider it a delicacy” we’d be looking for an exit strategy to get out of that fucking restaurant.
We can’t believe we have to say this, but pumpkin spice moonshine is, in fact, bad.
Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles, Pumpkin Spice M&Ms
Yes, these are two wildly divergent products, but we already covered them with our “Worst Pringles” and “Worst M&M’s” articles, and frankly we’ve shone a light on how long this scourge of bad Pumpkin Spice products has been affecting our great nation. Neither of these were ever good ideas, but major corporations decided to roll with it anyway, because trendy.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
So listen, you have two choices. You can spend $6 on a “creamy pumpkin sauce” for your fucking pasta, which advertises its gluten-free-ness, but again, is for pasta, or you can erase this image from your mind and live a peaceful, content existence where you remain blissfully unaware that pumpkin spice has even crept into the pasta sauce game. Now, some of you might say, “Hey, it’s unfair of you to call it out for being gluten-free, you could maybe put it on gluten-free pasta, or even spaghetti squash, have you thought about that?” To you, we have to respond, “Sorry, we stopped listening to you the very instant you decided to try to defend the concept of pumpkin pasta sauce.”
Pumpkin Pie Salsa
God damn it, are you serious here? See, at least with the pumpkin pasta sauce, it seemed to be just…mostly pumpkin. They knew well enough not to mix pumpkins with tomatoes, because, good God, that sounds like a horrible combination. But nope, tomatoes weren’t going to get out of this thing unscathed. Here we have a jar of nightmares filled with tomatoes, pumpkins, jalapenos, and pumpkin pie spice, which sounds less like a salsa and more like the basket ingredients for an episode of Chopped. And what’s worse, there are multiple versions of this, like this one that costs fifteen fucking dollars.
We’ve officially reached the point in this article where we’re sad. We’re sad now. How can this get any worse?
Pumpkin Spice Pizza
No, you can’t be ser…
Villa Italian Kitchen, a chain of 230 restaurants across the nation, decided on September 22nd, 2017, that things were looking pretty bleak in this country, so we should just drive full on into the skid. And so, voila, fucking pumpkin spice pizza, with mozzarella cheese, nutmeg (uh oh), clove (Jesus), cinnamon (oh for fuck’s sake) and pumpkin pie filling (die in a fire) and just, oh goddamn you, you guys did it. You ruined pizza. This is almost as bad as St. Louis-style pizza, and that’s saying something.
For shame, Villa Italian Kitchen. For shame.