Pumpkin spice obsessed

by Kelly Hillock, Features Editor

It’s the most wonderful time of year: the leaves change into golden hues and crunch beneath boots; there’s a chill in the air, favorite sweaters are worn and Monday night football returns. Day trips to Julian become commonplace and cravings for pie are intensified. Okay, well, it’s actually still 90 degrees here in San Diego and most of us are already getting unfortunate backpack tan lines and arriving to class dripping with sweat. Regardless, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. And this time, it’s here early.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte has arrived at Starbucks. This is entirely preemptive of Starbucks, as it’s just barely September and most of the country is struggling with high temperatures. But if there’s one thing Starbucks does best, its indulging patrons with overly priced fantasies nestled in a white paper cup.

Needless to say, the arrival of the pumpkin spice latte presents a unique opportunity. I can now lay on my couch with approximately three fans pointed at me and sip a pumpkin spice Frappuccino, pretending I’m frolicking through 60 degrees and crunchy leaves. Thinking of sweaters makes me feel more sweaty than I already am, though.

Thanks to modern science, the pumpkin spice latte can be enjoyed in a multitude of fashions. Hot (which is best saved for cooler temperatures), iced, blended in a Frappuccino or with a pump of mocha. I can’t imagine a world where I’d have no choice but to choke down a hot pumpkin spice latte in a southern California August. Thankfully, I don’t have to. Regardless of preference, this latte is a phenomenon among us all. In a way, it has become the poster-child of autumn. As we raise our pumpkin spice lattes and rejoice over the changing of the seasons, we Pin pumpkin-related recipes on Pinterest and start buying hoodies and boots like no one’s business. Too bad it’s all just a facade. It’s still 90 degrees outside.

The nation’s obsession with pumpkin spice has transcended into all aspects of our taste buds. What used to be a favorite seasonal pie is now a favorite seasonal everything. There’s pumpkin spice Oreos, pumpkin spice whey protein, pumpkin spice granola bars, pumpkin spice dog treats, pumpkin spice bagels, pumpkin spice butter spread and pumpkin spice Pringles.

Some of these things should not be paired with the pumpkin spice flavor. This obsession has gone too far, America. Dog treats? Butter? Pringles? Why? I am fairly confident dogs are only interested in bacon-flavored things and I can’t imagine a reason why I would need my butter to be anything other than butter. The line has to be drawn somewhere and, really, I prefer to keep all my pumpkins in one basket — or coffee cup.

However, it’s only a matter of time before I give in to consuming pumpkin-flavored foods. Because this is 2014 and Pinterest exists, my autumn cravings are limitless. Whatever pumpkin-spice flavored food item I can’t purchase at the grocery store, I can turn to Pinterest and find a plethora of recipes from pumpkin spice protein shakes to pumpkin spice brownies.

Pumpkins are part of the Cucurbita family, along with gourds and squashes, but neither receive the level of appreciation pumpkins do. Too bad “squash spice” doesn’t sound as appealing.

I’m not sure if the weather will ever cool down, but I know I can rely on stores and Starbucks to fulfill my pumpkin spice cravings and football to be playing on the TV.

Summer isn’t over yet in San Diego, but the arrival of pumpkin spice everything means it has to be on its way. At the very least, we can enjoy the best of both seasons without committing to one. I can end a day at the beach with an iced pumpkin spice latte and cinnamon candle. What more could a girl ask for?