So, October. And you know what that means. Pumpkin. Our office is buzzing with the discoveries of all things pumpkin out there in the world, some good and some not so good. So, we thought we'd have a little taste test of our own and share our results with you, our favorite people, to give you some guidance in this vast pumpkin sea we are swimming in. We made a visit to Trader Joe's and gathered up 9 products to test, looking for the more random and obscure. We passed up on the staples of coffee and pumpkin bread, figuring everyone pretty much already had an opinion on the love/hate status of those products. Surprisingly, of the 9 products, only 1 had an across the board "no, I would not buy again". Turns out pumpkin everything isn't so bad after all!
1. Pumpkin Butter: We spread this on English Muffins, the only non pumpkin item we tried. It's rich, like a very dense pumpkin pie. Verdict: yes, would buy again.
2. Autumn Harvest Pasta Sauce: It's a blend of pumpkin and butternut squash and while we wouldn't recommend it WITH the pumpkin ravioli, it would be great with plain pasta, mushrooms and some tangy Parmesan cheese. Verdict: yes, would buy again.
3. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread: Really good pumpkin and spice flavor. Would be great on a cinnamon raisin bagel or spread on sweet potato toast. Verdict: yes, would buy again.
4. Pumpkin Butternut Squash Bisque: So, we had really high hopes for this one which were quickly dashed when the container was opened. A bisque should be thick and creamy and this was runny and watery. Water as the first ingredient should have been a clue. No flavor at all. Verdict: No, would not buy again.
5. Pumpkin Cranberry Crisps: The Fig & Olive version of these are one of our favorites and this flavor did not disappoint. Spread with some soft chevre and maybe a drizzle of honey and it's the bomb. Verdict: Yes, would buy again.
6. Pumpkin Greek Nonfat Yogurt: The pumpkin flavoring is subtle and leans a little towards that fake flavor you find in non-dairy creamer, yet half of the team did like it. Verdict: split. Those who liked would buy again.
7. Pumpkin Ravioli: Pumpkin and butternut squash pasta filled with a pumpkin and cheese puree. Again, we ate with the harvest sauce and it was too much. But with an alfredo sauce and some shaved parm? Yum. Verdict: Yes, would buy again.
8. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls: The checkout guy at Trader Joe's said these were his favorite pumpkin item so we were super excited to try. They were good, decent pumpkin flavor, and not too overly sweet. But, if given the choice between normal cinnamon rolls and these, everyone on the team would go for the regular cinnamon rolls. Verdict: No, would not buy again.
9. Pumpkin Bars: We sampled these in the office, and they got fair reviews. Then we sent these home with Presley for her kids to try, the ultimate test. They were a hit. Verdict: Yes, would buy again.
What are your favorite pumpkin picks? We'd love to hear from you! Happy October!