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Westport offers a variety of pumpkin spice treats for fall Maya Hruskar '23

Fall is finally here, which means it's time to indulge in the best seasonal flavor of all time, pumpkin! In light of this I've decided to scout out places in Westport where the best pumpkin spice items can be found.

Starting off the hunt is an oldie, but a goodie: Starbucks. From Starbucks, I got three different pumpkin items. A pumpkin spice scone, a pumpkin spice Frappuccino and a pumpkin spice latte.

Pumpkin scone:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

This was insanely good. I think that this scone and a nice hot cup of coffee would make a great fall breakfast. It's very visually appealing in addition to it being super soft and moist. Also it's aggressively orange, which is always appreciated. I would rate this as a nine and a half out of 10 for the aforementioned orangeness and unexpectedly strong pumpkin flavor.

Pumpkin spice Frappuccino:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

To be honest I wasn't looking forward to this one that much, but it defied expectations. It was the sweetest thing I tried and definitely had a more subtle pumpkin flavor than other items. This is for somebody who's wary of pumpkin and needs something a little more approachable. I would rate this as an eight out of 10.

Pumpkin spice latte:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

There's a lot of hype surrounding Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte, and, I have to say, this drink lives up to it. Similar to the Frappuccino, the latte had a more mild pumpkin flavor than I thought it would. It was creamy, and there were hints of ginger. This one's a classic. 10/10.

Next up on the pumpkin spice tour is Dunkin' Donuts. Expectations for Dunkin' were relatively low and they didn't have many pumpkin flavored items. I ended up ordering the pumpkin munchkins and the iced pumpkin swirl latte.

Pumpkin munchkins:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

I didn't have any expectations trying this but somehow I was still disappointed. The batch I got had definitely been sitting out for a while which made the munchkins much drier and tougher than they should have been. The pumpkin spice flavor was there, but I think that maybe munchkins just aren't the right medium to express it in. Jelly munchkins are undoubtedly superior in both flavor and texture, so you might as well just get those. 5/10.

Iced pumpkin swirl latte:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

This was really good. It was refreshing, creamy and very pumpkiny. This would be great for a warm autumn afternoon. Also, you could still taste coffee through the flavoring! This is a great drink for coffee-lovers who still want to know they’re drinking coffee when they order a flavored drink. 9/10.

I switched it up on the third place and went for Fresh Market instead of another coffee place. I personally didn't think they would have much, but wow, was I wrong. This store was by far the most agressively pumpkin themed out of anywhere else I went. It was like a pumpkin spice shrine. There were a lot of options, but I ended up choosing pumpkin spice pretzels and pumpkin spice cupcakes.

Pumpkin spice pretzels:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

A pumpkin spice flavored pretzel is sort of a weird idea to begin with, and I honestly can't tell if I like them or not. They're really confusing. The pumpkin flavor is very strong and they're also pretty salty. I guess they might make an interesting thing to bring to a halloween party. Then again you could bring kit kats and everyone would like you more for it. 4/10.

Pumpkin spice cupcakes:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

These are so good! The cake part is ridiculously soft and moist and the cream cheese frosting is genuinely addictive. I think I ate five of these in one sitting and I regret nothing. 10/10.

Last but not least is Trader Joe's, a favorite of mine and of many others. Trader Joe's had some very creative uses of pumpkin. I never personally knew that the pumpkin flavor could be incorporated into bagels or into curry, but they went for it. I chose some less eccentric items to try: pumpkin frosted toaster pastries and pumpkin blondie brownies.

Pumpkin frosted toaster pastries:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

These are completely terrible. At first appearance, they seem like a more adult version of a poptart. On further inspection, they are simply a sadder, doughier and less flavorful version of that childhood staple. I rate these a highly disappointing 2/10.

Pumpkin blondie brownies:

photo by Maya Hruskar '23

These "brownies" weren't really brownies. They're more like a thicker version of pumpkin bread. They had a strong pumpkin spice flavor and were very moist, but normal brownies are far superior. 3/10.

Finally, to wrap up the pumpkin spice tour, here are my top three picks in no particular order:

The pumpkin cupcakes from Fresh Market were nearly unparalleled in their deliciousness and would certainly be a crowd pleaser. I recommend either getting these for a party or eating them alone all in one sitting as I nearly did.

The pumpkin spice scone from Starbucks, though not at all what I expected it to be, was one of the tastiest items I tried overall. The comforting buttery-sweet taste of the scone would be a perfect way to start off a chilly fall morning.

The iced pumpkin swirl latte from Dunkin' Donuts was an incredibly refreshing drink that I, as a black coffee lover, could see myself getting again. If you’re looking for a less coffee-tasting alternative, I’d go for the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

I hope you enjoyed the pumpkin spice tour of Westport and good luck getting your pumpkin-flavored treats!

Created By
Maya Hruskar
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Credits:

Created with images by Khadeeja Yasser - "Starbucks" • Unknown - "Photo of Dunkin' Donuts Neon Signage · Free Stock Photo"