Trader Joe's Just Launched Its Most Surprising Pumpkin Item Yet

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Whether or not you actually like pumpkin, you can't deny the popularity of the squash. (There are even pumpkin-scented cleaning products, for crying out loud.) And just when we thought we'd seen it all, Trader Joe's comes in and releases ... pumpkin vinegar.

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So, what is pumpkin vinegar, exactly? According to the Trader Joe's website, the item is made in the same way apple cider vinegar is produced. The manufacturer starts by cold-pressing organic pumpkins, then fermenting them into a cider. Next, a culture of beneficial bacteria (known as the "mother") is added.

This bacteria reacts with the sugars in the pumpkin cider, a process known as fermentation. The result is pumpkin vinegar!

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The Trader Joe's pumpkin vinegar is also unpasteurized and unfiltered, meaning the beneficial bacteria is still in the bottle. (This gives the vinegar a cloudy consistency — and it's totally normal.)

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As you can imagine, shoppers have mixed feelings about the product. "Trader Joe's has lost their mind with everything pumpkin this year," said one user on Instagram. "I'm ALL about pumpkin ... but I feel like this is the point where pumpkinpalooza went a bit too far," commented another person.

On Reddit, however, folks are more eager to experiment with the ingredient. People have been busy brainstorming creative uses, from dressing to coleslaw.

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Fortunately, the item is inexpensive, so it's worth picking it up if you're interested. It costs just $1.99 per bottle, according to the Trader Joe's website.

How to use pumpkin vinegar:

In general, you can use pumpkin vinegar just like you would apple cider vinegar. Here are some interesting ways to use it:

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  • Brighten up chilis, stews, and sauces with a tablespoon of pumpkin vinegar
  • Make a seasonal vinaigrette or dressing
  • Use in place of regular vinegar in baked goods
  • Mix with soda water and simple syrup (or maple syrup) for a pumpkin shrub cocktail

You know what they say ... don't knock it until you've tried it.

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