Food & Drink

WTF Is Pumpkin Spice, Anyway?

Pumpkin isn't always involved.

It's not even October yet, and we're already deep in pumpkin spice season. Starbucks rolled its lattes out early. And even Dunkin' Donuts has gotten on the spice train. It got us thinking: WTF is pumpkin spice, anyway? From the sound of it, pumpkin spice should include pumpkin and spices, right? Well, no.

Since pumpkin spice is meant to replicate the flavors of pumpkin pie, here's what you can always count on when you order something with pumpkin spice:

The mainstay spices include cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. After that, it varies from place to place. Some pumpkin spices include cloves. Others draw on allspice. We've even found recipes that add mace. But you know what they don't all have? Pumpkin.

If you're drinking a pumpkin spice latte or eating a pumpkin spice muffin, there will definitely be lots of sugar in it. However, sugar is NOT an ingredient in pumpkin pie spice.

That's right, pumpkin spice does not always mean pumpkin, despite what its name implies. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Hope you can still enjoy your (pumpkin-less) pumpkin spice latte this fall.

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