We’ve just come out of the hottest month in the recorded history of the world, and the current month appears to be making an argument for the title. It’s hot, really really hot, is basically what I’m trying to say. So what sounds better than [checks note] the warming flavors of fall? That’s right, as is now tradition, the pumpkin spice inevitability is encroaching on summer’s territory and we must all bear witness.
Here’s the deal: pumpkin spice as a flavor I have no problems with. It’s fine. But it is a bit over-represented in the zeitgeist, and brands are in a sweaty dead sprint to be the first each year to roll out, or at least announce, their own pumpkin spice whosiwhatsits. We have just now reached the middle of August, the very dog days of summer, and Starbucks has already released a variety of pumpkin spiced products—creamers, cold brews, frappuccinos, flavored coffees, K-Cups, etc—that are available at grocery stores nationwide this very moment. It is anachronistic as best.
Not to be outdone, Krispy Kreme is pumpkin spicing a whole slew of things, including the standard coffee and lattes and no fewer than four different types of doughnuts: Pumpkin Spice Original Glazed, Pumpkin Spice Cake, Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake Swirl, and Pumpkin Spice Maple Pecan. And they’re all available right now. It’s 110 degrees outside, all the gourds are struggling on the vine in the sustained extreme heat, but sure give me a taste of a fall that won’t ever come. And to make matters even worse, all these pumpkin spice things at Krispy Kreme are only going to be around until October 8th. October 8th! Around the time of year when pumpkin spice mercifully becomes seasonally appropriate. And you can’t get it.
But the real big bag, the Final Boss of undue pumpkin spicing, is none other than Wendy’s. Plans have leaked for the fast food chain to release, along with a pumpkin spice coffee and cold brew, a PUMPKIN SPICE FROSTY. To be honest, this sounds like the best iteration of the pumpkin spicing of things and my problem is not the Frosty per se. Not to beat a dead horse here, but it’s that Wendy’s gets off on withholding a real coffee Frosty from us. They won’t give us what we truly want, but it doesn’t stop them from dangling these other coffee-adjacent Frosty items in front of our noses.
I just don’t think I have it in me anymore to keep fighting the good fight. The war is over, pumpkin spice won, and there is nothing we can do about it. It now comes and goes as it pleases, coming way too early and then leaving before it should have ever arrived. It has come spatiotemporally unmoored, hopping around the timeline like it was some character in pretty much any superhero movie these days (but not the one we really want). So while we’re all stewing in the August crockpot, waiting for our meat to get tender and fall off the bone, why don’t we all go ahead and grab a taste of fall. Lord knows the actual fall may not be here for a while.