So what exactly is in pumpkin spice?

Pumpkin Spice

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - This time of year, it’s in everything, from your morning cup of coffee to your beer... pumpkin spice. But what’s in this concoction that drives sane people pumpkin nuts every fall?

There’s something about fall that brings out the pumpkin in just about everybody.

“It makes you feel like you’re embracing the cold weather better because we’ve had such a long, hot summer,” said Andree Laville, a big fan of pumpkin spice.

At the Magpie Café, baristas can hardly keep up. “We rolled out our pumpkin spice three weeks ago. We’ve run out a couple times already,” said Amanda Schuler, an employee at Magpie.


But why now? What is it about the change of seasons that turns otherwise sane people into pumpkin-holics?

“I think it’s all about what we want to happen so badly when the seasons change,” said Anne Milneck, owner of Red Stick Spice Company in Baton Rouge. She makes her own pumpkin spice from scratch. She says although pumpkin spice being in everything is a fairly recent craze, the flavor combination goes way back.

RELATED: Chef John Folse’s recipe for Pumpkin and Pecan Bread

“Cinnamon and nutmeg were being added to pumpkin in the 1670s,” she said. Add a little clove and ginger, and those original Thanksgiving spices bring out the fall in just about anything.

“I saw pumpkin spice lip balm the other day. I don’t think the world really needs that,” Milneck said.

But there’s a seldom talked about fact in the pumpkin spice industry that just might blow the lid off this whole pumpkin pandemic.

“Zero pumpkin in pumpkin spice. Zero,” said Milneck.

That may be true for most, but not all.

“The biggest part of it is the organic, natural pumpkin she uses,” said Schuler.


If you’re not at the Magpie and your pumpkin concoction is the gourd-free variety don’t feel duped. Those soothing aromas are more about a feeling.

“It’s kind of a centering, grounding way to just take a moment, give yourself a little treat and start slower,” said Laville.

And for a real walk on the wild side, try it in July.

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