Pumpkin-Flavored Items May Contain No Actual Pumpkin

By Kelly Dobkin  |  November 13, 2013

Are you borderline obsessed with pumpkin-flavored...anything? Sorry to burst your bubble, but the New York Times put together a delightful animation that politely explains that so many processed pumpkin-flavored items (including Starbucks' infamous pumpkin spice latte) contain little or no actual pumpkin. We're not entirely shocked, but here's the lowdown: manufacturers go heavy on the spices that you would find in pumpkin pie - clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc., to trick consumers into believing that they are tasting the real thing. And pumpkin flavoring may contain up to 80 additives to mimic the flavor and sensation of eating pumpkin pie. Check out the animation here. For some real pumpkin dishes, check out our seasonal guide to restaurants featuring the bright orange gourd right here.