Fall Madness, or the rise of pumpkin-flavored everything 2

Call me a curmudgeon, call me a Luddite, call me a cab – I don’t care, but this pumpkin-flavored everything bullshit has got to stop.

puke3Very few things in this life should be pumpkin flavored. At the top of that short list are pumpkins; I’m totally OK with pumpkin-flavored pumpkins. Pumpkin pie can be awesome, and you’re a Commie if you don’t agree (although, honestly, I prefer sweet potato pie). Pumpkin-flavored cookies, consumed in moderation by consenting adults, are cool, too. And pumpkin soup is acceptable if you’ve crash-landed in the Andes and the only other option is eating your fellow passengers (actually, this is a tossup, depending on whether or not you’re vegetarian).

But that’s where I draw the line. The rest of this pumpkin nonsense is completely unacceptable.

The list of pumpkin-flavored abominations is already too long, and it’s only getting longer. Perhaps the first – and certainly the most high-profile abuser – is Starbucks. Not content with foisting shitty, over-priced coffee on gullible Americans who think “mocha” is Italian for “chocolate shake for grownups,” Starbucks invented the pumpkin spice latte.

You know what you’ll find in one of these things? A short list includes caramel coloring, high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavoring, milk from cows fed GMO corn, soy and cottonseed, and perhaps, some Starbucks over-roasted coffee.

You know what you won’t find? Duh – pumpkin. But if you’ve ever tasted Starbucks coffee straight, you’ll be thankful for that. Why? Because the adulterants effectively mask the taste of the brew, which is often compared – and not favorably – to boiled aquarium water filtered through campfire ashes.

Another pumpkin-flavored offender is Pinnacle Pumpkin Pie Vodka. Take it easy on this stuff; I bet it doesn’t taste nearly as good coming up as it does going down (actually, I bet that’s a wash). But it is a seasonally appropriate way to combine the two crippling afflictions of diabetes and alcoholism.

durexThe best thing to come out of this cucurbitan insanity is a wildly popular (but sadly bogus) photo of a pumpkin-flavored Durex condom that has recently been circulating online. I thought this was pretty clever – certainly more clever than their very real banana-flavored jimmy caps.

Seriously, guys – banana flavored condoms? That’s low-hanging fruit (you should pardon the expression). How about dill pickle, or kielbasa? I guess its clear why they never made a Vienna sausage flavor.

But the best thing about the bogus photo? It put a whole new spin on that old nursery rhyme about “Peter, Peter Pumpkin Eater.”


  1. Wow this column make me totally hungry for some trendy pumpkin flavored snacks. I’m headed to Starbucks (natch) then the liquor store (thanks for the tip on that vodka) and then the Cheesecake Factory for a big orange slice. Oh yeah that Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater gag is just awful….

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