It’s time again for that autumn annoyance: people who think that hating the flavor “pumpkin spice” is interesting. “Pumpkin spice doesn’t actually have pumpkin in it!” they say. “Liking it is basic, and being basic is bad!”
Sorry, but the bar for “basic” moves all the time, and it moved beyond your anti-pumpkin-spice tweets a few years ago. Not liking a cinnamon-nutmeg blend does not make you a cultural critic. So hating pumpkin spice is now officially “basic,” if that’s what will stop you Someecards-ass, non-irony-Twitter tryhards teething on Baby’s First Cynicism.
Pumpkin spice tastes like the spices used in pumpkin pie, you “I Frakking Love Science” Neil DeGrasse Tyson wannabe. This is what you sound like: “It doesn’t even taste like pumpkin! Why don’t they build the whole plane out of the black box? Why do we park on a driveway and drive on a parkway?” Stop being willfully ignorant. Pumpkin spice tastes good, to some people. It tastes bad, to other people. It is available in an increasingly wide variety of edible products. That is the most you can observe before you sound like a combination of a Slate columnist and Dane Cook.
Yes, pumpkin spice shows up earlier each year. We live in a global market, where the riches of every climate are available to all others, most of all that poster child of international trade, the spice. Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and cloves are available in any supermarket at any time of year. To deny yourself, or others, their pleasures in any season is as foolish as limiting coffee to Christmas. (Speaking of Christmas, don’t even think about coming at candy cane flavor, you Nickelback-roasting 9GAG normie.)
Summer pumpkin spice—Starbucks offers it iced—is only silly in the context of a kindergarten conception of the four seasons, which are now obsolete as climate change ravages the planet. As the arrival of fall slips later, it’s natural to celebrate it sooner, like some winter solstice ritual trying to bring the sun to heel. And frankly, as the meter crawls toward 25% on the slog between Election Days 2016 and 2020, we all deserve our drug of choice.
This isn’t a defense of the actual flavor. Most pumpkin spice versions of packaged food taste like crap. But so does normal packaged food. Like yes, pumpkin pie M&M’s are kind of gross. So are cookies & cream M&M’s, but you don’t see anyone tweeting about those instead of growing a personality. There’s a damn M&M’s chocolate bar on the market and your problem is pumpkin pie flavor? Get your priorities straight.
This fall, layer up your irony. Find a better target for your autumn derision than four pumps of Starbucks syrup. Get creative. Hey, isn’t it time someone really lit into buttered corn?
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