Pumpkin spice: star of the show or just another flavor


Mr. Andrew Brown

A festive Pumpkin spice latte next to a round pumpkin.

As the temperature drops and the leaves begin to change color, there is no denying that autumn has arrived. When thinking of fall flavors, most people think of the popular flavor: pumpkin spice. 

Pumpkin spice surprisingly has a long history, but the catch is it does not have pumpkin in it. The Dutch East Indian Company is responsible for what is known as pumpkin spice today. A majority of spice blends today are made of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, some of which are found exclusively in Indonesia, known as the Spice Islands. The Spice Islands were captured by the Dutch in the early 1600’s.

The Spice Islands were crucial to the spread of the spices, and the accomplishment of the Dutch East Indian Company. The Dutch were inspired to create blends like speculaaskruiden; a blend like pumpkin spice but with cardamom and white pepper. The popular use of speculaaskruiden in dessert led the spices to spread throughout Europe.

In 1791, a Scottish author named Mrs. Frazer created a “mixed spice” blend that included nutmeg, clove, and “Jamaican pepper”.

The spice blend arrived in North America by 1796. American Cookery, the first known cookbook written by the American Amelia Simmons, had a pumpkin pie recipe that contained the spice blend of mace, nutmeg and ginger.

In 1934 America, McCormick introduced a spice mix called “pumpkin pie spice” which was intended to be used to flavor pumpkin pie.  

In the current day, pumpkin spice is mainly marketed as used in drinks. Though the flavor is decent at best, it is so overrated. The flavor is not anything special when it is mixed with coffee, or any beverage. From the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte to the Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Cream Cold Foam, they just do not impress as much as they should. 

Sophomore Grace Adams believes that pumpkin spice should stick to its original use.

“Pumpkin spice seasoning is only good in things, not [in] drinks,” Adams says. 

Foods including pumpkin like pumpkin pie, and pumpkin bread are so much better than pumpkin spice drinks. The lack of actual pumpkin in these popular drinks makes them fall flat in flavor. 

Some Clover Hill students like Sophomore Peyton Patrella do not even know why pumpkin spice is popular.

“I’ve never had the pumpkin flavor, but I feel like it is overhyped for no reason”

Even though pumpkin spice is edible, it should not be as hyped as it is. Flavors like apple and caramel deserve more attention around this time of year.

 Patrella believes that there are better fall flavors and drinks that should get more attention than pumpkins.

“I like smores. The s’mores frappuccino… it is really good.”

Four out of five Clover Hill students that were interviewed liked other fall flavors over pumpkin spice. Overall, pumpkin spice should share the spotlight with other fall flavors, and not be the star of the show.