Hipsters everywhere delight in denouncing Pumpkin Spice Lattes (or PSLs as they’re known colloquially) when autumn rolls around. For 25 years, I’ve actively avoided PSLs and all pumpkin-flavored things…until I discovered Belle Chevre’s Pumpkin Cream Cheese. Suddenly that was all I ate for three days.
This experience forced me to take a long, hard look at my life. I tried a Pumpkin Spice Latte and realized what I’d been missing. I embarked on a quest to round up all the pumpkin-related dairy and accompaniments I could find. Whether you’re a recent convert to the pumpkin bandwagon or a lifelong devotee, here are five of my favorites.
1. Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese: Belle Chevre
The pumpkin spice cream cheese that started it all. Made from goat’s milk, this cream cheese has 2 ½ times the amount of protein than regular cream cheese. The pumpkin version is flavorful without being overpowering, and scoops easily onto crackers, bread, or just a spoon for a mid-afternoon snack.
2. Pumpkin Spice Cheese: Beemster Cheese
Of course I have to include this pumpkin spice cheese. This young Gouda from Beemster is infused with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and makes a fun addition to your autumn cheese plate. The spices complement rather than overwhelm, and its savory notes make it delicious with grilled ham.
3. Pumpkinhead: Shipyard Brewing Co.
One of the oldest and most approachable beer styles is wheat ale. Thanks to its versatility, American brewers often use wheat ale as a base for other flavors. Shipyard’s golden Pumpkinhead is crisp with subtle hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. Consider enjoying with a salty cheese like Sapore Del Piave, or flatter the beer’s subtle spice with a rich, nutty Gruyère.
4. Pumpkin Muffin Tea: Savoy Tea Company
Tea and cheese are not as common a pairing as, say, beer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them a try. Black tea has the most tannins of any tea, so follow the same rules as red wine: consider anything from a barnyard Camembert to a rich blue. Featuring carrots, white chocolate chips, and cinnamon, this Chinese black tea puts you in a pumpkin state of mind.
5. Pumpkin Spice Date Spread: Wanna Date?
It all began with an enterprising college student and a love of dates. Armed with a food processor, Melissa Bartow’s experiments in her dorm room led her to found Wanna Date? Full of vitamins, Melissa’s vegan and gluten-free date-based spreads are delicious on brie or paired with cream cheese on a bagel (see above). As for the fun flavors? “We love Pumpkin Spice,” says Melissa. “We wanted to do more than just sip it in lattes. So now you can spread it and spoon it!”