At last, it's the time of year when you can scoot your sweater-clad self down to the coffee shop, headphones blaring spooky music, and walk out with that undisputed queen of seasonal offerings, the pumpkin spice latte. I'm told, though, that some people prefer pumpkin-flavored things that aren't as basic as it gets. I must say you're missing out, my friends, but to each their own and all that jazz. You don't choose the pumpkin spice life; the pumpkin spice life chooses you. Or rather, it chooses your taste buds by virtue of being delicious.
Despite popular perception, pumpkins weren't always associated with Halloween. Several hundred years ago, people in Ireland carved jack-o-lanterns out of turnips or potatoes; it wasn't until they started immigrating to North America that they discovered pumpkins make the best jack-o-lanterns. Fast forward a few centuries, and pumpkins are synonymous with everything fall — something that retailers have certainly taken advantage of recently. On top of the good old PSL, you can buy non-aerosol pumpkin spice spray, deodorant, and even makeup.
But whatever happened to actual pumpkin products? Not the aggressively autumnal pumpkin spice, but simple pumpkin-flavored things? After some Internet sleuthing, I've managed to compile a list of pumpkin products even the least basic (most complicated?) people will love. I promise that you will find no pumpkin spice yogurt, cereals, or hummus in this article. You can thank me later, but first, coffee.
1Pumpkin Cookie Mix
You know what's basic? Counting calories. Enjoy the season by making some pumpkin cookies. Nobody will judge you for using a mix, especially if you don't tell them in the first place.
2Dogfish Head Punkin Ale
Is there anything less basic than a six-pack of beer? I think not. Pumpkin beers are a seasonal favorite, with dozens of breweries working the flavor into their offerings each year. Kick off your fall festivities with Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, a full-bodied, pumpkin-flavored ale that has been going strong since its initial release in 1995.
3Pumpkin Pie Larabar
The dairy- and gluten-free life is admittedly pretty basic, but these nutrition bars are so deliciously autumnal that they made it on the list anyway.
Larabar Pumpkin Pie, $5.99
4Salted Pumpkin Seeds
Seeds may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of pumpkins, but they're just as much a seasonal staple as pumpkin pie. Roast your own after carving jack-o-lanterns, or buy them pretty much anywhere.
5Baileys Pumpkin Spice Creamer
No matter where you're from, everyone loves Irish cream. If you're looking to add some pumpkin-y booze flavoring to your coffee, Baileys has got you covered with its pumpkin spice creamer. (For the kind with actual booze added, head to a liquor store.)
7Pumpkin Pie Taffy
Is it too hot to break out the warm cider and pumpkin bread in your area? Go for pumpkin pie-flavored taffy as one last summery hurrah.
8Chocolate Pumpkin Biscotti
Pumpkin-flavored biscotti is delicious enough, but when you add in dark chocolate and dip it in coffee, that little cookie reaches autumnal heaven.
9Pumpkin Cheesecake Ice Cream
A pint of Ben and Jerry's pumpkin cheesecake ice cream, complete with graham cracker swirl never fails to disappoint. If the weather has yet to cool down to an appropriate chill, dig into some ice cream while you wait.
10Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses
Are the Hershey's pumpkin-flavored kisses a blatant attempt to capitalize on the pumpkin spice craze? Probably. Does that matter when they're so sweet? Probably not.
11Pumpkin Chocolate Break-Apart Ball
You know those orange-flavored balls of chocolate from the '90s that you could pull apart? This is the pumpkin-flavored version. Enjoy.
If you can't get enough of pumpkin cheesecake flavoring after the Ben and Jerry's ice cream, go for the real thing. There are dozens of pumpkin cheesecake recipes on the web, but the recipe from My Baking Addiction produces the glorious cake pictured above.
13Pumpkin Cheesecake Cookies
You can also buy pumpkin cheesecake cookies. I promise I'll cool it with the pumpkin cheesecake now.
14Pumpkin Spice Doughnut
Try not to salivate over literally any pumpkin-flavored donut. It's basically fried cake.
Krispy Kreme Pumpkin Spice Cake Doughnut, prices vary by location
16Pumpkin Spice Caramel Chocolate
These chocolate squares are flavored like pumpkin and caramel, making them so rich they're practically a member of the Gates family.
17Pumpkin Spice Caramel Corn
Would a basic person be caught dead eating caramel corn? Well, probably, because everyone loves popcorn. But my point still stands: Pumpkin-flavored caramel corn is universally appealing.
If you love waffles half as much as Leslie Knope, you have to make some pumpkin-flavored waffles this year. As always, feel free to indulge your inner Betty Crocker if you want, but if you're lazy or pressed for time, baking mixes are here to save the season.