Halloween 2023: October 17ᵗʰ – PumpkinQuest 2023, Part 2

I’m on a mission to eat fifty new-to-me pumpkin based foodstuffs before Halloween ends. But with all the pumpkin deliciousness I’ve enjoyed in the past, it’s proving a lot harder to find new pumpkin stuff than it sounds. But this is Halloween, damn it. This is what I do! Click the pic and see why I’m fat.

16. Kroger Pumpkin Roll – I spotted two pumpkin rolls in the bakery. One that looked saggy and sunken, as if it had been pressed into its container with an old boot, and this one.

Looks pretty, doesn’t it?

But it’s gross. This filling has a very weird, alien texture. I think it’s supposed to taste like cream cheese frosting, but it feels like it was made from super sweet condensed milk. I feel kind of ripped off by this one. I was not very happy.

17. Homemade Pumpkin Bread – Dan and Mandy’s daughter Evey made this homemade pumpkin bread. And by homemade, I mean she actually roasted a pumpkin, harvested and puréed the pumpkin flesh, and made this. It was heavily spiced and tasted very old school. I loved it!

18. Pumpkin Pie Almonds – I’m not sure what happened to my pics of these, but I don’t remember the brand name. What I can tell you is that they were coated with pumpkin spice flavored yogurt and/or white chocolate. They were pretty damned tasty, but got a bit too sweet after a few.

These are the dusted kind. But they don’t count for PumpkinQuest 2023 because I’ve already had them. In fact, I ate this particular can of them way back in either 2002 or 2006, depending on which metadata you want to believe. I just recently uncovered this photo in one of our Halloween archives. Welcome back, Mr. Peanut.

19: Thomas’ Pumpkin Spice Bagels – Oh, hell yes. Usually I think bagels need some sort of accompaniment, but I are a couple of these straight out of the bag. These are exceptional!

They’re also delicious toasted. But an even tastier fate awaits these crispy, beautiful bagel halves. You’ll have to wait for a later article to learn my secret recipe, so make sure you read all of our PumpkinQuest 2023 articles!

20. Kimberley’s Bakery Pumpkin Spice Filled Cupcake – I had such high hopes for this. It’s so pretty. And it smells divine. But they just couldn’t leave well enough alone.

The pumpkin cake here is perfect. I don’t recall ever having better. But the icing is just too much. It’s so sweet it makes it hard to taste the cake. Even worse, the filling is a little wad of icing that’s even sweeter and more dense than the stuff on top. I ended up scooping it out and throwing it in the trash. This is an expertly devised and baked cake absolutely ruined by the addition of unnecessary sugary crap. What a shame.

21. Entenmann’s Little Bites Pumpkin Muffins – Damn, these are good!

I said they’re good, damn it. That’s all you need to know.

22. Casey’s Maple Pumpkin Spice Coffee – I hate to say it, but this was a miss for me. And it’s probably my fault. Both maple and pumpkin spice are best accompanied with some sweetness, but I drank this coffee black. And it just wasn’t good. The strength of the black coffee made the pumpkin spice taste burnt and made the maple just plain weird. I should have opted for sugar and cream, but I wanted to taste this straight. And it was rough.

23. Casey’s Maple Pumpkin Spice Cappuccino – This picture isn’t Casey’s coffee. I don’t have a photo of it. But holy sweet baby Jesus… THIS is what I expected from maple pumpkin spice. This is so good it’s difficult to accept that it came out a multi-flavor gas station dispenser. Sweet mother of Lucifer, this is so fucking delicious! Creamy, warm, and best of all, no one flavor overshadows the others. Pumpkin spice, maple syrup, and coffee all working together to make me feel like fall and winter are having a party in my mouth. Pumpkin spice and maple were MADE to go together. Why has no one figured this out until now?? Casey’s, you are my new church.

24. Swiss Miss Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa – Okay, wow! Full transparency, I was not expecting this to be very good. I’ve tasted some pretty funky failed attempts at combining chocolate and pumpkin, and I was afraid this was going to be another one of those. But this is delicious! If there were a diabetic friendly version I would drink this all the time. For those of you familiar with Mexican hot chocolate, you will find this very similar. But instead of the singular warmth of cinnamon, the mélange of pumpkin spice is more mild, lending a perfectly complex, almost savory note to the sweet cocoa. I am particularly surprised how well the chocolate and cloves work together. Honestly, I can’t believe I like this at all, and I REALLY can’t believe I like it as much as I do. I hope this comes around again next year. This is excellent!

25. Duck Donuts Pumpkin Streusel Donut – I’ve never had Duck Donuts before I took a little trip down to North Carolina. I’d never even heard of it. But I won’t forget it any time soon. All of my pictures from this trip seem to have disappeared, so we’re going to work with what I can find online. But don’t worry about what you see, just focus on what you can taste. They were called “Pumpkin Coffee Cake” in the Duck Donuts I went to, but no matter what you call them they taste damned good.

26. Duck Donuts Pumpkin Roll Donut – And these taste even better. I’m a big fan of streusel, so I didn’t expect this one to be my favorite. But the streusel gets in the way of the other donut. This one lets the pumpkin shine through. I should have gotten a whole dozen of these.

27. Duck Donuts Pumpkin Macchiato – Duck Donuts will take any opportunity to inject pumpkin flavored sugar into your body, and this was yet another delivery system. This macchiato was exceptional, but stir it before you drink it. Otherwise you just get a mouthful of warm, unpleasant cream. That’s what she said.

28. Entenmann’s Pumpkin Loaf Cake – Damn! This is a nice change of pace from the super sweet frosted forms that pumpkin spice is usually forced into. Just pumpkin and spices and the flavor of good baking.

This is without exception my favorite pumpkin cake so far. I’m very happy with this.

29. Remke’s Fresh Baked Pumpkin Loaf Cake – This is dark. Slow-cooked rotisserie chicken dark. Maybe it’ll be better when we get it out of that plastic.

Nope! If anything, that made it worse. This thing doesn’t look baked so much as basted. Is this meat cake?

The exterior of this cake is overcooked. It has a funky, burnt molasses taste. It is not enjoyable. The interior, however, is lovely. It has a taste like a very well made pumpkin gingerbread. Just make sure the interior crumb hits your tongue before the exterior does. Otherwise… no.

30. Pumpkin Spice Sweet Crisps – I don’t know how the word “sweet” got in the name, because these thing are anything but “sweet like a cookie.” These may actually be the least sweet thing on this list. They’re almost savory. That’s not a negative thing, especially after all this sugar, but it is confusing to the palate when you first eat one. I don’t want to give the impression these are bad, because they aren’t. They’re just weird. That said, I actually kind of like them. The crunch is quite nice.

And now, without further ado, The Skull Of The Day!

Today’s Skull Of The Day is Skulldron. Sorry for the blurry pic, but Skulldron is only about an inch wide. I found this little guy on sale for 38¢, and knew immediately that, despite his diminutive size, he was destined to be a Skull Of The Day. Welcome aboard, Skulldron. We’re lucky to have you.

Come back tomorrow for more Halloween treats!

Leave a Reply

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
We'd love to hear your thoughts!x