Taste test: new pumpkin, candy corn and other fall-flavored foods



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Okay, we get it. You love pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. We can get behind sipping them on occasion, but we're not sure we can get behind the "Pumpkin Spice Latte Effect," in which every food you can imagine is doctored up with pumpkin or other fall flavors. This year we started seeing really ridiculous things. Candy corn M&Ms. Candy apple soda. Pumpkin spice Hershey's Kisses. 

We hit Target, Walgreens and other stores to find as many seasonal pumpkin, apple and candy corn–inspired items as possible and tried them all in one sugary binge. Here's what we tried, arranged in order from worst to best.

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  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    UV Vodka Salty Caramel Apple

    Smells like hot apple cider, tastes like apple cough syrup with a really gross, thick mouth feel. Just incredibly nasty.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Starburst Fruit-Flavored Candy Corn

    Like eating a chalk candle made of Kool-Aid powder. Horrid.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Caramel Apple Oreos

    The attempt at capturing the tart green apple flavor in cream form fails miserably. So artificial and sweet our teeth hurt.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Yoplait Light Pumpkin Pie Yogurt

    There's a heinous aftertaste of fake sugar. And nothing remotely pumpkiny.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Mother's Pumpkin Spice Cream Liqueur

    There's a reason this is called "Mother's": Only the 60-plus female set would touch this saccharine stuff. But, we will allow that it could possibly give coffee a nice zing.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Trader Joe's Pumpkin Greek Yogurt

    This has no pumpkin flavor. It just tastes like sweet yogurt.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Yoplait Apple Crisp Yogurt

    Yuck! It tastes like Christmas. But, like, sad Christmas.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Pumpkin Spice Hershey's Kisses

    Waxy, like tasting a pumpkin spice candle.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Nature's Path Pumpkin-N-Spice Chewy Granola Bars

    Sticky and only faintly pumpkiny, this is like something you would put in a hamster cage. If you wanted your hamster to go into a diabetic coma.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    White Chocolate Candy Corn M&Ms

    Not bad, but it's a strange taste, like there's frosting in there instead of chocolate.


    Pumpkin Spice M&Ms

    Much better than the candy corn ones, but there's no pumpkin flavor and they also smell like cinnamon candy. But at least there's actual chocolate.


  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Herr's Pumpkin-Shaped Candy Corn Flavor-Coated Pretzels

    There's nothing candy corn-like about these—they just taste like white chocolate–covered pretzels. Which is not a horrible thing.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Philadelphia Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese

    This is like regular cream cheese with brown sugar blended into it. And frosting.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Candy Corn Oreos

    Smells—and tastes—like store-bought icing in a can. Fairly inoffensive.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Pumpkin Spice Coffee-Mate

    Doesn't really have a pumpkin taste, but somehow the flavor is definitely fall-like. And this creamer add better flavor than flavored coffee.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Jones Caramel Apple Soda

    Pretty accurate caramel-apple taste. But do you really want a liquified caramel apple?


    Jones Candy Corn Soda

    It smells like IRN-BRU. And that makes us feel like being drunk in Scotland.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Eggo Seasons Pumpkin Spice

    A clear gingerbread taste. They're nice and spicy and would be even better with butter.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Market Pantry Pumpkin Cheesecake Creme Sandwich Cookies

    Very sweet, but with a nice hint of salt, too.


  • Extra Pumpkin Spice gum

    It has a strange, cardboard-like texture—it's just too weird to be chewing pumpkins.

    Extra Apple Crisp gum

    It has a pleasant, spot-on apple taste. We'd probably chew this again.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights

    This tastes like the same cake used for Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies (which are the bomb), only with a hint of spice.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Edy's Pumpkin Patch Ice Cream

    Starbucks lovers, take note: This tastes just like a frozen pumpkin spice latte.


  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts

    These are shockingly good, most likely because there's real pumpkin inside, which is more than we can say about anything else we tried.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Thomas' Pumpkin Spice Bagels - WINNER

    Creamy bits of pumpkin are embedded all over this bagel, which, when toasted, becomes gooey and addictive. We will be fighting over these in the office.

Photograph: Martha Williams

UV Vodka Salty Caramel Apple

Smells like hot apple cider, tastes like apple cough syrup with a really gross, thick mouth feel. Just incredibly nasty.

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