perfect pumpkin picks

Courtney and I drinking PSLs in early September

Einstein Bagel's pumpkin bagel with cream cheese.

This week for The Gonzaga Bulletin I wrote an article about the different pumpkin-flavored foods available on and off campus! Check out the article below or on the Bulletin's website.

Pumpkin fro-yo with graham cracker crumbs and cheesecake bites.

Food trends come and go faster than it takes to burn off the calories gained from indulging in them.

From frozen yogurt to cupcakes, trendy food shops have popped up to cater to people’s cravings. Some of these fashionable flavors define the season they are eaten in, like peppermint in winter, or acai berry in summer. For fall, the flavor of choice is pumpkin.

In an effort to find the best fad food for you to enjoy, I scoured on and off campus eateries for pumpkin-flavored offerings.

It only made sense to begin my pumpkin journey at Starbucks, home to the insanely popular Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). The PSL is celebrating its 10th anniversary. For most millennials, that means half of our lives have been blessed with the wonder that is the PSL. So how does it taste?

Pretty pumpkin-y. However it’s been reported that the drink does not have one ounce of natural pumpkin flavor. Regardless, the blend of spices, natural flavors and espresso makes for a cozy coffee concoction. I’ve tried knock-off versions of the PSL at places like Einstein’s Bagels, McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme and they are never the same. I’ve had at least 10 since the drink was released on Aug. 30.

While pumpkin-flavored baked goods have always been a staple of fall, frozen treats have been a territory left untrodden. Imagine my surprise when I saw an orange-colored froyo option at Froyo Earth that wasn’t orange- flavored but pumpkin. I was wary, worried even, that the flavor would be nausea inducing. It actually turned out to be delicious. While the fro-yo was sweet, it wasn’t overpoweringly so. An employee at Froyo Earth recommended I pair the yogurt with graham crackers and cheesecake bites. This added to the deliciousness.

If sweets aren’t your thing, you should try Einstein Bagel’s savory pumpkin bagel. The wheat-looking bagel has the subtle hint of pumpkin that goes great with plain cream cheese. The fluffy ring of bread was a nice change to the routine cycle of bagel flavors. I appreciated that the pumpkin of this bagel wasn’t too potent. What’s also worth mentioning about Einstein’s is that they have moist pumpkin muffins with icing that blur the lines between muffin and cupcake.

Thomas Hammer’s coffee is consistently flawless in my book. So when I heard they had a pumpkin chai among other fall drinks like caramel apple cider, I made a beeline for Jepson. Leo Francovich, a barista, student and singer of a coffee-themed love song, made my chai sans serenade. He added in an espresso shot just for me; actually it cost me a bit extra, but it was worth it. The drink was creamy, comforting and perfectly pumpkin. This drink is perfect for tea drinkers who still want to get their fall fix.

You can’t go wrong with trying any of these pumpkin picks. Just don’t forget to save room in your stomach for pumpkin pie come Thankgsiving.

joe gooding