From the classic PSL to pumpkin spice popcorn, the comedian breaks down which snacks are actually worth the hype.

By Julia Guerra
October 25, 2019
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Pumpkin spice season kicked off early this year, leaving you hardly any time to experience all the cult-favorite treats before peppermint gets its turn. With so many seasonal goodies lining grocery store shelves and coffee shop menus, choosing which ones are worth experiencing can be overwhelming.

Zach Pagano/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Thankfully, Mindy Kaling recently taste-tested a bunch of pumpkin spice products on Instagram to narrow down the best of the selection.

"My Spice Girl name is Pumpkin Spice," the comedian captioned the video she posted to her account earlier this week. "I taste-tested some of the best fall pumpkin spice options out there so you don't have to!" she wrote. (Related: Starbucks Is Launching a New Pumpkin Drink for the First Time In 16 Years)

Not every product was a winner (after all, things like pumpkin spice spam exist for some reason), but that just goes to show Kaling really did us a solid here. Your taste buds (and wallets) can thank her later. (Related: Mindy Kaling Posted a Body-Positive Message About Why Everyone Should Wear a Bikini)

Kaling started off with what she refers to as "the OG," aka a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. The Late Night actress and producer took a quick sip and immediately declared her love for the drink. "It's good! I guess I'm that basic girl, 'cause this tastes damn good," she said.

Moving on from the classic pumpkin-flavored drink that started the craze, Kaling jumps right into some pumpkin spice snacks. She starts with a Trader Joe's Petite Pumpkin Spice Cookie (Buy It, $19, amazon.com) which, she confirms, "is very petite," as in she could "eat 40 of these without it registering as a cookie." Petiteness aside, the mama of one gave the shortbread cookie—which is covered in a pumpkin-spice and yogurt coating (yum)—her stamp of approval.

The next winner was the 365 Pumpkin Spice Latte Popcorn (available at Whole Foods stores). Kaling was clearly surprised at this discovery, as her reaction to the seasonal kernels was: "Whoa, delicious." She described the popcorn as having a "kettle-corny" taste but with "a little nutmeg," as she dug into the bag for seconds.

Kaling was also taken aback when she bit into a pumpkin spice madeleine cookie (the "grossest" kind of cookies, in her opinion), which turned out to be so delicious that she said it's "the first madeleine I've ever liked." Unfortunately, Kaling doesn't name-drop the brand of cookies, but if you'd like to try one for yourself, here's a pumpkin spice madeleine cookie recipe so you can whip up your own batch. (Related: These Pumpkin Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies Taste Just Like Dessert)

Finally, Kaling digs into a muffin-in-a-cup marketed to have more protein than an egg. The comedian doesn't specify what brand of muffin cup she's taste-testing, but based on her description, the Kodiak Cakes Pumpkin Dark Chocolate Mini Muffin (Buy It, $23 for 8, walmart.com) sounds like a pretty solid dupe. Although Kaling notes that the muffin "smells like cat food when cooked," (but not in an unappealing way—whatever that means), it tastes "delicious." Plus, with more protein than an egg, it's "like you're eating a steak," says Kaling.

At the end of her tasting, Kaling left fans with a little piece of wisdom: You should never judge a book by its cover—or in this case, a pumpkin spice product by its clever packaging.

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