Like the leaves changing or the sudden appearance of Christmas decorations in Michael's, nothing heralds the transition from summer to fall like the sudden appearance of pumpkin spice everything.
I think it all began with the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. (The "PSL" as it is known to the youth these days.) By "it" I don't mean the advent of the flavor itself -- that started with the pumpkin pie. I mean the cultish devotion to a seasonal flavor the likes of which the world has never seen.
Confession time: I am not, and have never been, a the biggest fan of pumpkin spice. Pumpkin pie has a time and place, but if I had to choose "best seasonal pie," I would give that award to pecan. If I had to pick "best seasonal overpriced coffee-like beverage," I would crown the Peppermint Mocha, long may it reign. (For I too am a yoga-panted girl.)
Pumpkin is fine, but it is far from my favorite.
I do however enjoy the utter madness that sweeps America once September hits. Everything that can be pumpkin flavored or scented must be pumpkin flavored or scented. Coffee, ice cream, body lotion, beer, candles, seltzer, Pringles, all baked goods. Where there once were chocolate chip cookies, there are now pumpkin spice chocolate chips cookies.
I'm so acclimated to it, that when that fake pumpkin spice condom picture made the rounds, my first thought was "It'd be really funny if I reviewed those for xoJane."
And when I heard that there were probably going to be pumpkin spice Oreos this year, I could have sworn we had done that already.
BUT WE HAD NOT.
AND HERE THEY ARE.
IN ALL OF THEIR ARTIFICIAL GLORY.
You know how this next bit goes.
Other outlets have criticized the Pumpkin Spice Oreo for "smelling like a Yankee Candle." That may be, but some Yankee Candles smell delicious.
But yeah, that is exactly what they smell like.
That, mixed with the undeniable smell of the golden Oreo cookie. The overall effect is intense, but not unpleasant. I was overwhelmed with the smell when I first opened the package, yet I kept going back for more.
I almost gave myself a pumpkin spice headache.
It's that same old golden business. As you were. Nothing to see here.
Actually, I can't help myself: I know Oreo doesn't really eff with the two standard cookie flavors (I think the cream must be easier/cheaper to manipulate) but if they had made the cookie a little less sweet and a little more buttery, it would have been reminiscent of pie crust.
WHO WOULDN'T WANT THAT?
I realize now why I thought we had "done this before." It's those damn orange Halloween Oreos. They taste exactly the same as the originals, but the cream is orange. I think they may have spooky shapes on them as well.
Anyway, that orange cream is different than this orange cream. Not just in taste, but in appearance. The Halloween ones are an aggressive, bright orange, but the cream sandwiched in between these golden cookies is the color of canned pumpkin.
I really appreciate this detail. We eat with our eyes first (a phrase that always seemed super creepy) and the more autumnal shade of orange really gets you in that pumpkin spice mood.
It's basically a solid version of Starbucks pumpkin spice syrup. This will either delight or repulse you.
The cream seems to a be a little oilier than other Oreo creams I've had; this is a stark contrast to those Root Beer Float Oreos I had last week, which were almost chalky. It's almost frosting-like in consistency, but I'm probably over-thinking it.
I must stress that, like the PSL before it, these do not really taste like pumpkin, but the spices you would season pumpkin pie with.
Let's be real, it's mostly cinnamon. Maaaaybe a little ginger.
But while the pumpkin spice flavor is definitely there, it is relatively weak when you consider how dominating the aroma is. It hangs around for the first few chews, but after that it fades, and the only flavor you are left with as sweet.
But smell accounts for about half of flavor anyway, so this is not a huge deal. Just keep smelling and you should be fine.
As an Oreo, this is not my favorite. I'm an original purist, but that's not this cookie's fault. As a pumpkin spice flavored treat, I would rate this pretty highly. All you pumpkin spice fans should run out and get a package post haste (once they are released on September 24th).
Or just come hang out with me. Sean won't help me. "In my early 20 I would have -- you know, my pumpkin spice days -- but those days are over," he said, quite seriously.