It’s that time of year again where our capitalistic tendencies take over, and we watch ourselves indulge in spending money on meaningless things such as Pumpkin Spice Crest Toothpaste and Clorox Pumpkin Spice Bleach. I don’t indulge on anything laced with allspice or nutmeg because I’m a semi-normal individual that has values and boundaries. For those that don’t have any common decency left this is a good time of year for you.
Fall shouldn’t be synonymous with a drink that contains 50 grams of sugar and close to half your daily value of saturated fat. I, of course, am referencing the Grande Pumpkin Spice Latte or as really cool Starbucks baristas like myself call it, PSL. According to Abbreviations.com, PSL also stands for pumpkin squirrel latte, which I still am trying to figure out, why and how? But how did we get to this point? How did we get to this point of normality where combining pumpkin spices with coffee became acceptable? Well, first we have to hold the food company, McCormick, responsible. According to The Chicagoist, back in the 1950’s to 60s, McCormick introduced the concept of “bundling” spices. One of the first successful bundling spices was “Pumpkin Pie Spice,” made to help home cooks not have to measure individual spices for their pumpkin pies. I had no idea that the process of singularly measuring nutmeg, cinnamon, and allspice was so strenuous that an alternative blend mix of spices had to be created but thank you, McCormick.
This still doesn’t answer the question of how the PSL, Pumpkin Spice Latte not pumpkin squirrel latte, gained traction in becoming Fall's most recognizable drink. From what I found, home cooks took to this new spice bundle “Pumpkin Pie Spice” and started experimenting with the spice on other food mediums which eventually led to its usage in coffee, disgusting. It wasn’t until 2003 that Starbucks was able to capitalize on McCormick's “Pumpkin Pie Spice” and turn it into a syrup form. By marketing the drink under the easily rememberable name of “Pumpkin Spice Latte,” while making it a limited time offer feature, Starbucks was able to create a seasonal favorite.
Fall is about watching squirrels eat newly dropped acorns. Fall is about trick or treating when you’re 18 years old while people questionably look at you because you’re stealing candy from elementary school kids dressed as Soulja Boy with a full beard. Fall is about wearing shoes again so you can finally hide your toenails that you’re self-conscious about because you haven't forgotten that day in June that Heather made fun of them. I speak for everyone when saying this is what fall is honestly about, not some corporate Starbucks latte that just happens to look unusually cool when posted on Instagram.