The Official Pumpkin Taste Test

Number 3 on my FALL challenge, “eat something that really shouldn’t be pumpkin flavored,” has taken on a life of its own and grown into a pumpkin taste test. I sacrificed my afternoon yesterday, gathered up a few participants, and tasted all sorts of products trying to capitalize on America’s love of fall and the ubiquitous pumpkin spice.

Things you should know:
I don’t like pumpkin all that much. Take that into account when trusting my opinions.
My daughter is allergic to tree nuts, so any product containing that other fall favorite – pecans – was immediately excluded. [Although one product with almonds did sneak past my radar. Obviously, she didn’t eat that one.]
My local grocery store didn’t have some of the weirdest pumpkin-flavored products on my list. Where is a Trader Joe’s when you need one!?

Let’s get started.

Pepperidge Farm Milano Cookies, New Pumpkin Spice Flavored
Does it actually contain pumpkin? No
Pretty good. You taste more of the spices than any actual pumpkin (which makes sense since its pumpkin spice flavored). The tasters were torn on whether or not these were as good as classic Milano cookies.

Pepperidge Farm Swirl Bread, Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes, 2% or less.
Very good. The pumpkin taste is mild – it is spread throughout the bread in little bits. This would be great toasted with cinnamon and sugar or as French toast. The crust is a little dry and the cinnamon lines throughout the bread feel a little hard.

Kashi PopTart
Kashi Pumpkin Spice Flax Crunchy Granola Bars
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes, pumpkin seeds.
Good granola, but you don’t really get a lot of pumpkin. I wouldn’t really count this as a fall product. It just tastes natural.

Pop-Tarts Limited Edition Frosted Pumpkin Pie
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes, 2% of less.
Lots of pumpkin taste, very pumpkin-spicy. Overall, this one just tastes like a poptart.

Jell-o Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Snack
Does it actually contain pumpkin? No
The cheesecake taste was very strong, so much so that any pumpkin flavor was overshadowed. Three of the five tasters put their spoons down without finishing a small bite.

Faces Chips
Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes
These cookies look like Sackboy from Little Big Planet. Good. The cookies were consumed in their entirety. I even thought they tasted pretty good.

Garden of Eatin’ Pumpkin Chips
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes
It looks like a pumpkin spice Dorito. Tasted like a regular tortilla chip severely lacking in salt, although the tasters agreed you tasted more pumpkin as you ate more. The general opinion was they would be good in a salsa.
One brave taster dipped his chip into the cheesecake pudding snack. His only comment, “Well, it has flavor.”

Ice Cream Bakery
Turkey Hill Limited Edition Pumpkin Pie
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes
Overall, we thought this was really good. There was less agreement over whether or not we would eat a whole bowl or go to the store to get it specifically. The little bits of graham crackers really upped the flavor.

Palmer’s Candies Pumpkin Pie Pretzels
Does it actually contain pumpkin? No
These smell very strong and are very spiced. This actually works with the salt on the pretzels – this was actually the taste we expected from the chips.

Two-Bite Pumpkin Tarts
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes
This is sweet crust with a little bit of icing on top. The filling has very little flavor, even when trying to isolate and eat just it. This is the least pumpkiny thing we tasted today.

Welch’s Limited Edition Sparkling Pumpkin Spice Flavored Juice Cocktail
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Yes, pumpkin juice.
This smells very strong of pumpkin, but doesn’t have the taste to pack it up. Opinions were mixed between the tasters ranging from a great big no to a yum.

Shock Top Pumpkin Wheat
Does it actually contain pumpkin? Sort-of, brewed with ripe pumpkins
Tastes like beer with spicy aftertaste. It’s fine.

Kroger Pumpkin Egg Nog
Does it actually contain pumpkin? No
Only slightly spiced. Good egg nog. Very cinnamony, but doesn’t make you think pumpkin.

Ice Chips
Ice Chips Candy, Pumpkin Spice
Does it actually contain pumpkin? No
Weird. No. Not good.



  1. I do love pumpkin, but honestly, most of those do not look good or sound good. Some things just should not be pumpkin flavored! Kudos to you for marking this off your fall bucket list and taking the bullet for the rest of us!

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