Anyone else notice? Somewhere wedged between summer and fall we seem to be ushering the flavours of pumpkin spice. While I haven’t been the biggest fan of Pumpkin Spice “pushers” in the past, there are a few that I’ve come across that made me stop and give it a second chance.

We can probably safely say that it’s the big cuppa “joes” that have put this fall flavour on the map. But, my curiousity  had me digging to find out how the heck this all started. A quick search suggests the earliest known pumpkin spice idea was from a British recipe of “pumpkin pie” dating back to 1675. There are some facts that point to Ah okay, made sense. The spice blend consisted of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Pretty common base blend that we see used today when making a traditional pumpkin pie.

But it was the McCormick, the spice company, that commercially introduced the spice blend to the general public back in 1934. It would make sense for baking in pies and cakes rather than lattes.

Okay, so no actual pumpkin (or flavour of) is involved.

Fast forward and yes Starbucks is undeniably the OG of the whole Pumpkin Spice coffee movement! #PSL has actually been around for 20 years now. You can read about the history and how it all started here.

I admit I wasn’t a fan of pumpkin spice at first. I couldn’t even get my head wrapped around it unless it was in baked goods. Until recently.

ChaTime pumpkin spice

 

PUMPKIN SPICE THAT’S NICE…

Chatime introduced their  PSL Bubble Tea this season for the first time. I’m a big fan of bubble tea. I’ll covet that over any other drink if given the option. But *eye rolls* another pumpkin spice something something? Because it’s bubble tea made locally I was willing to give it a try. Well, now I’m singing its praises!

They offer two types:

Pumpkin Spice Bubble Tea made with Chatime’s Signature Milk Tea, pumpkin spice and there seasonal spices, and finished off with tapioca pearls (the bubbles in bubble tea).

Pumpkin Spice Roasted Bubble Tea made with Chatime’s Signature Roasted Milk Tea, combined with a dash of pumpkin spice, and other aromatic notes and tapioca pearls.

The latter roasted tea was a clear choice for me. Since my usual order is roasted milk tea I didn’t think twice. I ordered it cold with less ice and half sugar. I was really surprised at how much I LOVED it. Seriously.  It’s the first pumpkin spice ANYTHING that I actually would run back for. There are over a 100 locations across Canada. You can find the nearest location to you here. Of course you can Uber Eats it too.

Now that my curiosity has piqued again on this whole Pumpkin Spice category here are a few other noteworthy ways to explore the flavour of the season in various formats AND locally made.

Rolling Pin’s Jacked Up Pumpkin Pie: is an annual family favourite of ours when we entertain Thanksgiving weekend. It’s also our go-to gift of the season for friends, family and coworkers. The pie is “jacked” with a creamy pumpkin filling but an added layer of salted caramel puts this dessert in an other worldly category.

Butter Baker’s Autumn Bundt Cake: having the friends over for afternoon tea makes this a perfect dessert option that’s not too sweet.The buttery cake is mixed with pumpkin spice and topped with a pretty icing and autumn cookies.

Bobbette and Belle’s Pumpkin Cake: with three levels of moist cake with Maple Caramel Buttercream wedged in between this dessert takes pumpkin spice the next level.

Gifted Home Studio’s FallFest Candle: We don’t always want to EAT the flavours of fall but this hand-made candle by a local Toronto artisan hits just right. Made in small batches, hand-poured, soy wax, paraben and phalate free. Candles burn for 30+hours. Think of the warmth of spice cake lingering in the air with notes of cinnamon, jasmine, and vanilla. The perfect cozy weather scent.

candle - toronto - local

Any other favourites? I’d love to know!

*lead in photo credit:  Prchi Palwe for Unsplash