Review: Not all food should be pumpkin spiced

Posted at 7:47 PM, Sep 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-14 19:47:05-04

The TasteBuds try sweeter pumpkin spice offerings in the video above, and more savory options in the video below. The verdict: Not all food should be made with pumpkin spice. 


The leaves haven't even started to change and the grocery store has already changed its shelves over to fall. Pumpkin spice products dominate with many stores making it easy for you and just putting it all in a special section.

Is any of it worth buying? Fret not. We're working for you! Megan and I bought a box full of pumpkin spice things and taste-tested -- everything. 

Editor's Note: Pumpkin spice doesn't make all foods taste better.

Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses:

Siobhan: Disgusting. The color is unnatural and the flavor is revolting. This is what I imagine a pumpkin spice candle tastes like. I have never in my life hated a Hershey kiss until this day.

Megan: What Siobhan said. Waxy, unnatural flavor, I almost spit it out. So disappointed in Hershey's!

Pumpkin Spice Candy Corn: 

Siobhan: I like candy corn and I thought the addition of pumpkin spice would actually be good in these. I was wrong. They tasted like burned candy corn and were really waxy.

Megan: I don't like candy corn so I wasn't optimistic about this to start. I couldn't taste the pumpkin spice flavor, it just tasted like waxy, nasty candy corn. Bleh.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chips:

Siobhan: These were actually pretty good! If you used just the pumpkin spice chips in a cookie it would be a little over-powering but a few on their own were a good sweet treat. I bet if you mixed these with regular chocolate chips it would make for a delicious cookie.

Megan: I really enjoyed these! I like to eat leftover chocolate chips from baking, so I could totally see myself snacking on these while watching my trashy TV shows. The chips had a nice cinnamon flavor, not too overpowering. These would be excellent in cookies!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding

Siobhan: I had high hopes for this and thought it might taste like pumpkin pie. This was the worst of the bunch. I didn't even want to swallow this. It was gelatinous and grainy, and didn't even taste like pumpkin spice. It tasted more like the filling of a pumpkin pie that had been left out for a little too long.

Megan: I mean, where do I begin with this? The consistency was suspect and it didn't go down very nicely. I did not taste pumpkin spice at all and the fact that I had to eat this a couple times for our video makes me want to throw up just thinking about it.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins:

Siobhan: These were a disappointment. I love pumpkin bread so I thought these would be good. They were pretty bland and the after-taste had just a hint of pumpkin spice flavoring. We used the pumpkin spice peanut butter spread to improve them.

Megan: These weren't as good as I thought they would be. I've made pumpkin spice cupcakes before so I had high hopes for these. No good. Very bland with very little pumpkin spice flavor. BUT! If you add the peanut butter/pumpkin spice spread that we had handy, it improves the muffin greatly!

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter Whip:

Siobhan: If you love peanut butter, you will love this! This made the pumpkin spice muffins delicious. They pretty much just became vessels for me to eat the peanut butter. It had just a hint of pumpkin spice. 

Megan: OMG this was fantastic! I love peanut butter and the pumpkin spice flavoring paired well with it! I was pleasantly surprised. We put this on pretty much everything else we ate. Highly recommend!

Pumpkin Spice Marshmallows: 

Siobhan: Put these in a mug of hot apple cider or on a graham cracker with some chocolate and you've discovered the most fall food possible. These were even shaped like pumpkins! Again, just a hint of pumpkin spice flavoring. These weren't too sweet either. I would buy these again.

Megan: I am eating the marshmallows as we speak. Nice pumpkin spice flavoring, not too overpowering. These would be awesome on S'Mores!

Thomas' Pumpkin Spice English Muffins: 

Siobhan: I loved these! Toast them up and you get just a hit of pumpkin spice flavoring. We ate them with the peanut butter and it overpowered them just a little bit. I think these would be perfect with a little bit of butter. There is just enough fall flavoring to make it a little different than your normal breakfast

Megan: Delicious! And with the peanut butter/pumpkin spice spread, this makes for a great breakfast!

BelVita Pumpkin Spice Crackers:

Siobhan: If you're in a hurry, this is a good grab and go snack. It didn't really have too much pumpkin spice flavoring. The peanut butter saved the day once again. These were just meh for me. Not terrible but not particularly exciting.

Megan: Not too much flavoring, but an easy snack. Also pairs well with the peanut butter/pumpkin spice spread. See? Everything goes with that spread!

Pumpkin Sparkling Spiced Cider

Siobhan: I'm not too picky when it comes to what I drink. This is where I draw the line. Disgusting! This is undrinkable. If you're really mad at someone, give them a bottle of this.

Megan: Ever drink Pine-Sol? No? Well drink this. Then you'll know what it's like to drink Pine-Sol. 

Pumpkin Spiced Almonds

Siobhan: These were just okay for me. I guess I'm just a plain almond girl. The pumpkin spice flavor wasn't bad but it didn't wow me.

Megan: I enjoyed these. I love flavored almonds and these had a good flavor, not too crazy on the pumpkin spice. I could totally snack on these during a four-hour Lifetime movie.

Pumpkin Spice Tortilla Chips: 

Siobhan: I wasn't sure what to expect with these but I was pleasantly surprised. The mix of the saltiness of the chips with the subtle pumpkin spice flavoring was fantastic. Some of the chips even had pumpkin seeds baked into them. The chips were delicious by themselves, but also great with salsa. If I hadn't eaten so much pumpkin spice stuff before these I wouldn't have even realized these were pumpkin spice. Hands down, my favorite item of the bunch.

Megan: Like Siobhan, I had no idea what to expect with the tortilla chips. They turned out to be the favorite. They went well with the salsa (which had no pumpkin in it) and I liked the baked pumpkin seeds in it! Nice twist on a snack favorite.

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce:

Siobhan: This was on par with the pudding for me. Picture a jar of pumpkin puree poured onto pasta and that's what this tastes like. Perhaps if you cut it with regular tomato sauce or some Alfredo sauce it could be palatable. By itself, it's not great. The flavor was all over the place. Some bites tasted like nothing, other bites tasted like you were biting into a pumpkin. Overall, one of the worst things we tried.

Megan:  Oh, just terrible!  It was just pumpkin puree in a jar.  Gross, just gross.  Ruined the perfectly good whole wheat pasta.

In conclusion, the pumpkin spice craze needs to stop. Food companies seem to think if they slap pumpkin spice on their food it will sell like crazy. They might be right. Only you can put a stop to this! Only buy the pumpkin spice items that you really like! Let those companies know you won't settle for just any old pumpkin spice seasoned thing; you need quality, non-candle tasting, foods! Perhaps next fall the only pumpkin spice item you'll need is the PSL.

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