The Shocking Truth About Pumpkin Spice

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As summer turns to fall, it's likely that you find yourself craving pumpkin spice in everything from your drinks to your home scents. But, did you know that the name "pumpkin spice" is actually misleading?

According to Chowhound, pumpkin spice tends to contain mostly cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Allspice, cloves, cardamom, salt, and sugar can also be incorporated to amplify the fall flavors. Yet, do you know what pumpkin spice is missing? PUMPKIN.

Though it's in the name, pumpkin spice does not contain pumpkin. Instead, the spice mix can be used to flavor pumpkin treats such as pies, muffins, and yes, lattes. Then again, Adweek reports that Starbucks's original pumpkin spice latte didn't even contain pumpkin (it does now), so who are we to believe?

As for why we all go crazy over pumpkin spice come autumn, it's thanks to the brain's love of predictability and positive memories. "Our brains love fall because it gives us the change we crave wrapped in the safety of something we knew was coming," neuroscience professor Catherine L. Franssen writes on HuffPost. "The temperature changes, the light changes, the shorter days, the falling leaves ... all add up to predictable novelties that our brains really, really love." This includes the cozy comfort of pumpkin spice-flavored foods and drinks.

Now, even though we know pumpkin spice has been lying to us all this time, we still find ourselves craving a pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream.


When Anna Gragert isn’t trying to create a groundbreaking third-person bio for herself, she's writing for places like Teen Vogue, Glamour, Bust, Nylon, and now, Hunker! Follow Anna on Twitter or Instagram for more.

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