What the FLIK is…Pumpkin Spice?

The leaves are falling. Sweater and boots season has arrived. And with that comes – pumpkin spice season. Best known for flavoring the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), pumpkin spice or pumpkin pie spice is the unofficial spice of autumn.

But what the FLIK is it? This warm spice mix is made up of some of fall’s best flavors: cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Some recipes also include allspice into the mix. 

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie

Pumpkin spice isn’t exactly a “new” trend. As a matter of fact, researchers have discovered that the earliest versions of nutmeg and cinnamon blends were used in Indonesian recipes dating over 3,500 years ago. By the 1930s, McCormick perfected the blend and brought a shortcut spice blend to market for ease of fall and winter baking. Starbucks took the flavor to another level, adding sugar, espresso, and steamed milk in 2003 to launch the “Fall Harvest Latte” which eventually became the infamous PSL.

Traditionally, this spice combination is used for flavoring pumpkin pies, but did you know that you can use it in a number of other fall recipes?

Of course, you can use it in baked goods – cookies, pies, and breads – but try sprinkling it over pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for a delicious spiced nut combo. Add it to your overnight oats or breakfast granola. Sprinkle a scoop into your coffee grounds to flavor your morning coffee as an alternative to your PSL habit. Mix it into your whipped cream and serve over your favorite pie.

This warm combination of quintessential autumn spices can be used in dishes both savory and sweet.


Want to know more about trendy food topics? Check out our What the FLIK… series to read up on nutrition and food trends!


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