Blue Diamond, a co-op of more than 3,000 growers, is the giant of the almond business, accounting for more than 80 percent of supplies of the nut worldwide. Of course, just plain old almonds probably have a limited market, so in addition to the basic product, the company also sells nuts in such flavors as salt ‘n vinegar, wasabi & soy sauce, and sweet Thai chili. And of course — how could they resist? — pumpkin spice. Their version of pumpkin spice seasoning contains sugar, “spice” (unspecified), sea salt, corn maltodextrin, pumpkin powder, canola oil, corn flour, “extractives of paprika,” “natural flavor” (again unspecified), molasses, and brown sugar. When health gurus tout the advantages of daily almond consumption, this might not be what they have in mind.
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.
3. Balsamic vinegar
The pumpkin spice thing is obviously contagious across international borders. Even one of Italy’s most famous culinary exports 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. The In Love Gourmet brand (a company that also flavors balsamic vinegar with such things as chocolate, coconut, and bourbon), for instance, spikes their vinegar with cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, and recommends sprinkling it over shortcake. No, grazie.
4. 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.
5. 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. Can scrubs evoking mincemeat and pecan pie be far behind?
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