15. Trader Joe’s pumpkin-spice granola cereal
We'll kick off our roundup with this seemingly innocent granola. It's the most inoffensive foodstuff on offer, because its allegiance to pumpkin is iffy at best. These crunchy clusters provide just enough stereotypically autumnal flavors to ease into the season without making you want to smash a pumpkin over your skull.
14. Nice! Pumpkin cheesecake cookies
These are neither pumpkin nor cheesecake, but as crunchy, gingery cookies filled with sweet cream, you could do much worse (see: pumpkin Oreos).
13. Trader Joe’s This Pumpkin Walks Into a Bar cereal bars
Does anyone actually like Fig Newtons? You do? Well then you’ll like these, because they’re basically elongated, bastardized versions of those snack bars, with a “pumpkin” filling that could just as easily moonlight as fig or apple. Impostor!
12. Starbucks pumpkin bread
Every fall lover thinks they have the best pumpkin-bread recipe. Sorry to burst your bubble, but they all taste exactly the same, and they all taste exactly like this: firmly packed, belly-bomb heavy, reasonably moist and packed with nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and more freaking nutmeg.
11. Dunkin Donuts pumpkin-glazed cake doughnut
Marginally better than its cream-crammed cousin—this one at least has a whopping 2 percent pumpkin—the simpler cake doughnut wisely forgoes gloopy frosting for a thin sheen of crackly sugar glaze. Grab it in munchkin form for a less diabetes-inducing doughnut-to-glaze ratio.
10. Starbucks pumpkin-spice latte
In the grand scheme of pumpkiny things, the polarizing OG of pumpkin-spice season isn’t all that terrible, despite its alarmingly unearthly hue. The nose is pleasantly nutmeg-filled, the texture coffee-creamer rich and the drink itself has a narcotics-level addictiveness. We kind of get the craze now—kind of.
9. Trader Joe’s pumpkin mochi ice cream
Categorize these babies under “things that do not need to exist in reality”: chewy, soft mocha skins wrapped around spheres of pumpkin ice cream. Yeah, we’re just going to blame the hipsters for this one.
8. Dunkin Donuts pumpkin-pie doughnut
Holy frosting, Batman. This thing is crammed with it, from the overly sweet baby-food goo injected inside the doughnut to the standard-issue vanilla icing on top, inexplicably dusted with graham-cracker crumbles that taste like old-man cereal. And to no one’s surprise, pumpkin doesn’t even make it on the ingredient list, only the ever-vague “spices.” Somewhere, your pie-baking Great Aunt Betty is rolling in her grave.
7. Pepperidge Farm pumpkin-cheesecake cookies
Remember when we all used to eat Play-Doh as a kid? (Shut up, you know you did). This is exactly like that, only no one will yell at you for swallowing it.
6. Dunkin Donuts pumpkin crème-brûlée coffee
This is technically coffee, in that it’s a caffeinated beverage derived from roasted coffee beans. But really, this is an excuse to dump gallons upon gallons of artery-clogging flavored syrup to mask watered-down crap coffee. We’re onto you, Dunkin.
5. Trader Joe’s iced pumpkin scone cookies
No. 1: You’re not a scone—you’re just a glazed spaceship-shape cake cookie, so stop fooling yourself. No. 2: You are not even remotely pumpkin-flavored. You are ginger-gone-Hulk, with a heady spiced bite leagues worse than your bark.
4. Blue Marble Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
Why does this taste like sushi rice? How could pumpkin-pie ice cream possibly end up tasting like sushi rice? If even the scoop masters behind Blue Marble can’t figure this spicy-sweet shit out, there’s no hope for anything ever.
3. Pumpkin-spice Oreos
We're nearing the home stretch now, and at No. 3 we have an unfortunate seasonal flavor of Oreos. The color of the filling is truly horrific, more orange than Snooki’s entire brood, and the smell is one part seasonal Yankee candle, one part “Attention! There’s a spice spill in aisle five.” But the cookie reveals itself to be nothing more than a gourd-colored Golden Oreo, so sugary you’ll believe cavities have instantly erected from your teeth a la stalagmites. Your dentist will be thrilled.
2. Chobani limited-batch pumpkin-spice Greek yogurt
Vying for the top spot at No. 2 is this yogurt catastrophe. The pumpkin-spice fever pitch has hit fermented dairy—and thank the sweet heavens this abomination is only in limited batches. The yogurt’s tang overshadows any real pumpkin flavor, leaving only stale-tasting traces of nutmeg and cinnamon. And if that doesn’t turn you off, the jiggle will. Oh lord, the jiggle.
1. Pumpkin-spice Hershey Kisses
This is what evil tastes like.
That's all folks! Pumpkin-spice season will hopefully pass just as quickly as it came and will usher in an even more dreadful seasonal flavor: gingerbread. Blech.
SAN CARLO Osteria Piemonte
San Carlo Osteria Piemonte in Soho isn’t your typical pasta joint. This restaurant focuses on cuisine from the Piedmont region of northern Italy, which leans more towards rustic home cooking. The menu reveals an emphasis on game you don’t often see in Italian restaurants. You can order an appetizer of tonno di coniglio, rabbit marinated in olive oil served with pickled vegetables ($17), or pan-seared guineafowl with leeks, potatoes and kale sauce ($27) for your entree. Other menu options include chestnut gnocchi with porcini mushrooms and parmesan fondue ($22), bone-in veal milanese with arugula and cherry tomatoes ($42) and bollito misto piedmontese, a stew of brisket, ribs, beef tongue and pork sausage with vegetable relish ($29). The dessert menu offers more than just the usual suspects as well. You’ll find pears cooked in red wine, honey and star anise ($15) and a mint semifreddo with chocolate sauce ($13) alongside tiramisu and hazelnut mousse (both $12).
Venue says: “Producing exceptional fine wines, artisanal meats and cheeses, and some of Italy’s best known specialtiesincluding white truffles.”