Yeah, you love those lattes.
But it's time to expose a myth: What you think of as pumpkin flavoring really has nothing to do with pumpkins. The pumpkin, that large orange gourd so popular in the fall and inexplicably uninteresting in the other seasons, has a bitter, squash-like taste that's nothing like the pleasant flavor of muffins, coffee, and pie so often enjoyed this time of year.
What we call pumpkin spice, or perhaps more accurately pumpkin pie spice, is actually the blend of ingredients put into pumpkin pie so you don't gag when you eat it. It's strong enough to mask the taste of the actual pumpkin and for generations, most of us have been happy to indulge in a little pie, whether or not we actually tasted the pumpkin.
Vox exposes the myth of pumpkin flavoring
in a recent article that has an unreasonable level of detail for something so marginal. Seriously, who did the research to figure out the rate of growth of pumpkin-flavored frozen goods? I bet that's an intern that's looking for a new position right now.
Seriously though, even though the term "pumpkin spice" is a misnomer, it's perfectly ok if this article has you thinking of driving out for a cup of coffee right now.