[Disclaimer: Trader Joe's did not pay for this story. Our gastronomic stuntperson did this all on his own, for the love of the game.]
Right now the United States is in the middle of a collective seasonal affective disorder. The weather is apparently colder in most of the country (no fun!) and leaves somewhere are turning orange (I guess whoopee!), so restaurants and food dispensaries have rolled out their increasingly popular pumpkin-flavored products. But for a limited time only! Writer Felix Salmon posits that these items aren’t popular among consumers and producers because people are stoked on the taste of pumpkin; they are popular because people are stoked on the combined taste of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove.
After some recent trips to the Southern California–spawned grocery store Trader Joe’s, I noticed they’d gone particularly nutso on the pumpkin stuff this year. I’m not much of a fan of pumpkins, nor am I much of a fan of seasons that aren’t warm, but this Monday I submitted myself to an experiment: Everything I ate or drank that entire day had to incorporate at least one pumpkin-flavored product that I bought from Trader Joe’s. The only exception was water (Trader Joe’s Pumpkin-Infused Water is apparently still in the R&D stage). Here are the results: