The poor bagel. This chewy ring-shape roll of Polish-Jewish origins, its dough traditionally hand-rolled and boiled before baking, is one of the world’s great bread varieties. All too often these days, though, it’s just a spongy, machine-made, pre-sliced roll, pressed into service as a makeshift pizza crust or embedded with raisins, blueberries, or chocolate chips. Now it’s being turned into a toaster-friendly variation on pumpkin pie, containing real pumpkin along with, says the Thomas’ website, “spices and cinnamon.” Really? Have a little respect.
2. Balsamic vinegar
It’s obviously contagious. Italy’s second most famous bottled condiment, after olive oil, has caught the pumpkin spice bug. Several Italian producers of balsamic vinegar — the cheap stuff, not the pricey artisanal product that gave balsamic its exalted reputation to begin with — have apparently decided that you need a little pumpkin pie with your arugula. A typical pumpkin spice balsamic includes pumpkin juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. No, grazie.
3. Bath salts
At the end of a long, stressful day, what could be better than pouring a glass of wine, running a nice warm bath, and sinking into a tub full of…pumpkin pie? This mix of therapeutic epsom salt, vitamin C crystals, and essential oils — including, yes, pumpkin seed oil — spiced with cinnamon and “pumpkin fragrance,” might very well relax you. It might also make you want to get out of the tub, towel off, throw on a robe, and go eat something sweet.
4. Body scrub
No pumpkins were harmed in the production of this exfoliating scrub, meant for use on hands, feet, and body — despite the image of a plump, shiny little pumpkin on the label. Though it contains grape seed oil, cranberry oil, and grapefruit seed extract, among other ingredients, pumpkin is notably absent. Spices? They’re listed by Keyano simply as “Fragrance (Parfum),” but presumably include the usual suspects. What’s coming next year from Keyano? Pecan Pie Scrub?
There used to be a custom of serving warm apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese, but it’s unlikely that anybody has ever put Holland’s gouda on America’s pumpkin pie. The 117-year-old Dutch cheese company Beemster, however, apparently thought that cheese and pumpkin pie would go well together, so it infused its gouda with the usual pumpkin-spice ingredients — nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves — adding cardamom and anise seed for good measure. No gouda.