Fall has always been a season of pumpkin, apples and spices. Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger are used in so many fall favorites that we have come to associate them with the holiday season every time we taste them. Pumpkin pie spice is a blend of spices that uses these very spices. It’s a handy ingredient to have in the kitchen because it really streamlines your holiday baking, whether you’re making gingerbread or baking a pumpkin pie, and I’ve been using it for many, many years. But these days, pumpkin spice has become a way to infuse the flavors we associate with the fall into just about everything you can imagine. While foods like coffee and cookie butter are good fits for the spice blend, we also have things like Pumpkin Spice Pringles and Kahlua and hummus that don’t seem to be quite as natural combinations.
As a pumpkin spice fan, even I have to wonder if we have reached the tipping point of pumpkin pie spiced products. When savory foods get pumpkin pie spiced – I know I’ve had a steak with a pumpkin pie spice-inspired rub (and it was pretty good, as it also had dried chilis in the mix) – is that where we are taking this blend, which was intended for bakers, too far?
I’m personally on the fence. I’ve come across a lot of pumpkin pie spice products that exceeded my expectations and were just delicious. I also like to go all out for the flal holidays, so getting a little extra spice is typically a good thing. That said, it is disconcerting to see pumpkin spice pop up in unexpected places. Where do you stand on pumpkin pie spice? Save it for pie? Use it as much as possible? Leave your responses in the comments!