Every year we spend an entire week trying out the most insane pumpkin spice flavored foods that become available in the Hudson Valley. And this year's crop of all things pumpkin may be the craziest yet.

 

Pumpkin Spice Salsa

Hannaford has really embraced the pumpkin spice season this year, offering a line up of "Limited Time Originals" only available at their supermarkets. One of the strangest foods on the list was Pumpkin Salsa.  Our group of taste testers couldn't really distinguish a pumpkin flavor in the condiment. The only hint of pumpkin came in the form of a gritty consistency we discovered in some of the salsa chunks, which must have been the chopped up pumpkin bits. In the end, the heat of the salsa killed any pumpkin flavor that may have been added to the mix.

 

Pumpkin Spice Hummus

Another nasty "Fall Favorite" from Hannaford, the pumpkin hummus just looks vile. It's the consistency and color of something you'd find in a baby's diaper, topped with pumpkin seeds. The taste didn't contain much pumpkin. Combined with the chickpeas, the pumpkin tasted more like sweet potatoes or yams than anything else. Definitely a thumbs down.

 

Pumpkin Spice Yogurt

Chobani released a blended pumpkin spice yogurt a few years ago that we tried and hated. So we weren't very optimistic about their new Pumpkin Harvest Crisp Chobani Flip. Pieces of pecans and pie crust get mixed in with the yogurt to supposedly give it that real pumpkin pie flavor. Instead, it's a dry, chalky mess that almost made one of our taste testers vomit. Don't believe me? Listen to the reaction here:

 

Pumpkin Spice Frosted Flakes

No, they're not Grrrrreat. But they're not that terrible either. The dry cereal has a very pleasant pumpkin spice aroma, but when milk is added to the cereal the flavor doesn't seem to come through. The sugary flakes really overpower the pumpkin spice, masking the flavor and making the combination just taste bland. If you can get through the whole bowl, however, the sugary milk at the end is pretty delicious and tastes a bit like melted pumpkin ice cream.

 

Pumpkin Spice Pop Tarts

A. Boris

This one may have been the most disappointing pumpkin spice food of 2018. It had so much potential and was the one food we were all anxiously awaiting to try. After toasting up the tarts, the smell of warm pumpkin filled our kitchen, making us even more eager to bite in. But after that first taste, we were sadly underwhelmed. The amount of pumpkin filling was less than half of what was depicted on the box. in fact, we had trouble tasting any of the pumpkin filling that was sandwiched inside the bulky, dry pastry. As for the frosting; don't let those multicolored sprinkles fool you. It's just vanilla. If you want your home smelling like pumpkin pie, pop these in the toaster, but don't bother eating them. You'll be disappointed.

Pumpkin Spice Fudge Stripe Cookies

This was the first pumpkin spice food we tried this year and it was a favorite of three out of four tasters. One of us just couldn't get over the look of the white frosting that, when drizzled across the cookie, looked like... well, you can listen for yourself.

 

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Even the old Quaker Oats dude has jumped on the pumpkin spice bandwagon. And if there was ever a food that was perfectly made for pumpkin spice, it's oatmeal. Our hopes were high for this one, and we weren't disappointed. As we cooked the oatmeal, its aroma was pretty gross. A musty, dog food smell wafted out of the microwave, almost stopping us from even eating it. But thankfully, the smell subsided after mixing in some more milk. The taste was actually delicious. Flavors of warm pumpkin bread and grains nicely intertwined. There was a bit too much nutmeg in the mix and not enough cinnamon, but that might just be a personal preference. The pumpkin flavor wasn't too overpowering either. All in all, this is a solid pumpkin spice offering from Quaker Oats that I wouldn't mind seeing year 'round.

So if you really need to eat something pumpkin spice this season, we'd recommend the Quaker Oats oatmeal or fudge stripe cookies. If you're adventurous enough to want more, you might enjoy the Frosted Flakes or even the Pop Tarts. But whatever you do, steer clear of the yogurt, hummus and salsa. Your taste buds will thank us for the warning.