The Gustavian Weekly

The hype around pumpkin spice | The Gustavian Weekly

By Cyan Spicer - Opinion Columnist | November 2, 2018 | Opinion

Welcome to the season of pumpkin flavored everything. Of course, this welcome is a bit late as we are well into the excitement, with more and more pumpkin related things continuing to pop up. Pumpkin candles, cakes, candy, pie, decorations, and, of course, the famous pumpkin spice latte.  

Now, everyone loves a good seasonal drink. You can swoon over the cute, heart shaped things in your red colored drinks during Valentine’s, be pumped for green colored drinks that surround St. Patrick’s day, show your patriotism with tons of red, white, and blue in July, and even warm yourself up with a hint of peppermint during the winter holidays. 

But there is nothing that gets even close to as much attention as the pumpkin flavored season that is fall. It’s a frenzy of excitement for everyone, producers and consumers alike. 

Pumpkin is a good flavor for many things–pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, pumpkin seeds–but personally, I don’t enjoy it in my coffee. I find the hype of pumpkin spiced lattes and coffees to be good for businesses that are able to take advantage of it, and if you enjoy the flavor, then of course it is a good season for you, but in general it’s completely exaggerated. 

The over-excitement is exhausting to be around, and often overstays its welcome. The same excitement is not seen for other seasonal flavors. There isn’t an overwhelming abundance of peppermint flavored, scented, shaped things, for example.       

So, is this excitement for pumpkin a good thing or should we all take a step back? “I personally think it’s a good and bad thing. It keeps the coffee fanatics happy, and it tastes good in certain baked treats, but pumpkin spice season sometimes lingers a little too long. By the time fall is over, I never wanna see another pumpkin again,” Senior Annie Vang told me. For those who witness the excitement first hand,  such as baristas, it is especially taxing. 

The abundance of pumpkin spice has grown overwhelming, turning itself into a dreaded season for some. There are many people who refuse to even try anything pumpkin because of the overexcitement. 

Where did this over-excitement even come from? There are plenty of fall related flavors that, in my opinion, are much more worthy of the hype. Maple, for example, or even apple cider, is much more worthy of my time and excitement, and quite honestly both flavors are very underappreciated, swept under the bus by pumpkin lovers. At the very least there should be an equal excitement for all the flavors and scents of fall. 

To add to it, pumpkin spice lattes have become tied to stereotypes of over-excited blonde, white girls who drink too much Starbucks and love to wear oversized sweaters. At face value, the stereotype isn’t a bad thing, but people generally hate being tied to stereotypes, and therefore often end up seeing pumpkin spice as a guilty pleasure, or refuse to try it in order to avoid such stereotypes.

Therefore the abundance of pumpkin spice, in my opinion, is overall a bad thing. The season is more than just a flavoring to add to your coffee, or a scent to fill your home with. There are things that become intertwined when over-excitement is involved, and that often causes people to lose enjoyment in such stuff.

Enjoying pumpkin flavored drinks or food becomes difficult when people tie that flavor to stereotypes, and other flavors are hard to find when producers only want to feed into the trend of pumpkin. 

There isn’t a problem with enjoying pumpkin, or promoting the flavor over the season, but it is overwhelming, and would probably be for the best if everyone calmed down a bit on the subject. Although, I acknowledge that this excitement will most likely continue through the years as it has been. An abundance of people love pumpkin flavors and scents, therefore an abundance of pumpkin will be produced.

So if you like pumpkin, feel free to ignore me and enjoy the limited time you have with the flavor. The rest of us will be silently enjoying maple and apple cider, waiting for peppermint and heart shaped candies.

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