Pump-killing it: autumn products reviewed

Alex Klugerman

As the weather gets cooler and the daylight begins to disappear, it is evident that fall has arrived. With fall comes one of the greatest trends of the year: pumpkin-flavored everything. I am an avid lover of all things pumpkin, and nothing is too “gross” for me to try. Pumpkin has a rich, sweet taste that puts you in a fall mood as soon as you try it. While Christmas season is my favorite of the holidays, peppermint doesn’t do it for me. With the pumpkin trend comes hundreds of new “limited edition” items from famous brands who want to cash in on the pumpkin bandwagon. I have reviewed these delicacies on a scale of one to 10, with one pumpkin being inedible, and 10 being pure pumpkin bliss.

Product: Pumpkin Cookies
Brand: Pillsbury
No one can go wrong with Pillsbury. They appear to be standard chocolate chip cookies but with a hint of pumpkin in the dough, and cream cheese icing chips instead of chocolate. Cream cheese icing is my favorite type of icing, so that was a huge hit for me. The es themselves were baked to perfection, as they had a little crunch on the outside, but a super gooey warm center. If you’re a pumpkin lover like myself, try these instead of the traditional cookies for a fall twist. They deserve the high honor of a nine out of 10 pumpkin rating.

Product: Pumpkin Ice Cream
Brand: Giant brand
While this product claims to be normally flavored pumpkin ice cream, I believe that it has an incredibly strong pie flavor to it. It’s almost as if I can taste the pie crust in the aftertaste. The ice cream itself is icy and not as creamy as I had hoped (although that may be the fault of my freezer). This issue is fixed in the flavor of the ice cream. I’ll admit: I wasn’t overly excited to try this because I felt as though it was hit or miss, but the flavor was better than I would’ve imagined for Giant brand ice cream. Seeing how pumpkin pie is the best type of pie there is, it’s no wonder that I only give this product seven out of 10 pumpkins.

Product: Pumpkin Whipped Cream
Brand: Giant brand
The flavor that was propelled from the nitrous oxide-powered canister was my toughest to review of all the products because I was unable to figure out if I was a fan or not. It was definitely edible, but I couldn’t tell if it was a taste that I genuinely enjoyed, or that I was able to eat but wouldn’t try again. After countless tastes of the cream, I came to the conclusion that it would be a great caramel flavored whipped cream, as I didn’t get any pumpkin flavor. The taste was a hybrid of pancake syrup and hard caramel candies. Surprisingly enough, when I tasted it consciously tricking myself into thinking it was caramel flavored, it tasted much better. The consistency is smooth, and it is obviously best enjoyed when shot directly from the can into your mouth. Overall, it tasted OK, but the lack of pumpkin flavor disappointed me. While I would give it a seven for taste, I am giving it five pumpkins for tasting good, but claiming to be something it is not.

Product: Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts
Brand: Pop-Tart
I typically don’t understand the Pop-Tart craze of having a million different flavors all the time. A few solid choices exist, but the rest are there for the sheer fact of having options. I wasn’t too hopeful going into this food, but this was the best one I reviewed. I wouldn’t say this is the best Pop-Tart flavor, as that spot belongs to Brown Sugar Cinnamon, but I might have to put this in the top five. It was surprising to me that they could make a good enough tasting filling to put in this tart. Being frosted definitely helped, as unfrosted Pop-Tarts are worthless and borderline disgusting. Everything was right about this one though – the flavor is good, the tart itself tastes like pie crust and the sprinkles on top match the fall theme. I was impressed with Pop-Tart, and for that, I give them a near perfect score of nine and a half out of 10 pumpkins.

Product: Pumpkin Spice Oreos
Brand: Oreo
Lately, Oreo has been letting me down. The chocolate chip Oreos taste like someone squished tree sap between two cookies, the candy corn ones are horrid (which I guess is a little biased since I would rather eat a bowl of thumbtacks than a bowl of candy corn), and the Swedish Fish ones, as much as I adore Swedish Fish, were one of the worst things I’ve tasted all year. These pumpkin Oreos were putting my trust to the test here, but fortunately for Oreo, they won it back. These were delightful (although they held an odd resemblance to Teddy Grahams). It was the best new flavor I’ve tasted in a long time, which was good for my sanity and relationship with Oreo. A tip I would give Nabisco would be to try pumpkin with a chocolate cookie, as I could see that working well. But the vanilla cookie did its job of acting like a crust, just as a pie would. An eight out of 10 seems like a fair score, as they weren’t the best item on the list, but they were good nonethelesa.

Product: Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese
Brand: Philadelphia
The most ambitious of all the treats, this one was a tough one to buy at the store. I am in love with cream cheese, and I firmly believe that you can never put too much on anything. I didn’t, however, want to tarnish my close relationship with cream cheese by tasting this presumably poor concoction and never being able to look at cream cheese the same way. I didn’t have any bagels to put it on, so I decided to taste it straight from the container, which is fine because as I mentioned before, I am a huge cream cheese fan.
Upon smelling it, it had and incredibly similar odor to the Pumpkin Spice Chobani yogurt I had a few years back. I decided to dig right in, and while it wasn’t inedible, it certainly wasn’t good. It tasted nothing like cream cheese, and more like yogurt. It was also a denser consistency than most cream cheeses I’ve had before, which wasn’t a good thing at all. It was incredibly sweet, but retained a bitter aftertaste which was too pungent for my likings. While I appreciate Philadelphia for trying to cash into the Pumpkin fad, I would hope that next year they either make a better attempt, or just try to stay out of the race. I give this product an embarrassing two out of 10.