As we roll into October many things are expected. Halloween movies are on repeat, autumn candles are back in season, horror films invade the theater, crunchy leaves cover the sidewalks, sweaters reappear in closets and pumpkin spice is suddenly present in every food group.
Like any human born and raised in the Midwest, I love the fall. The weather is perfect, the colors are beautiful, the autumn air smells amazing and who doesn’t love Halloween? There isn’t much that beats a beautiful fall day. But the obsession with Pumpkin Spice Lattes will always be a mystery to me.
In 2003 Starbucks released its first Pumpkin Spice Latte or PSL for short, and the world went crazy. After the encouragement from social media, pumpkin spice has now been incorporated into all sorts of food groups. Cereal, breakfast bars, protein shakes and even Pringles.
You name it. People have gone as far as to jokingly create a meme saying that there is such thing as pumpkin spice bleach.
When asked how she felt about Pumpkin Spice Lattes Bailee Gass, a NDSU junior in psychology, raved about how this is her favorite time of year and she has bought all things pumpkin spice. “I heart everything pumpkin spice,” said Gass. “I recently got a Starbucks Gold card because I know how many PSL’s I will buy these next couple months.”
Why? Why do people enjoy drinking something that tastes like baby food? Starbucks now smells like someone covered the place in the guts from the jack-o-lantern they made the night before and sprinkled a little cinnamon on top to pretend it smelled yummy.
Pumpkin spice is just another one of those foods that everyone convinces themselves they love in order to fit in.
During a conversation about the effects of social media on food trends, Aly Fischer, a senior studying abroad this semester, made a great point about the trending obsessions.
“I think that people just want to like something so much that they eventually convince themselves they enjoy it in order to fit in,” Fischer began. “I mean there is no way that people would willingly be eating avocado with everything and swallowing pumpkin spice without gagging if it wasn’t the popular, trendy thing to do.”
Quite honestly, it’s the only explanation I can understand for people that enjoy drinking gallons of pumpkin spice and caffeine during the fall months. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheerios, pumpkin lattes it is all gross. Maybe it’s an unpopular opinion, but I stand by it. No basic PSLs for this girl, I’ll take an apple cider instead, thank you.