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OPINION: Seasonal showdown: Pumpkin vs. peppermint

OPINION%3A+Seasonal+showdown%3A+Pumpkin+vs.+peppermint
Chloe Pound

As the holiday season is approaching, and memories of the white-girl Starbucks meme haunt college girls far and wide, why not forget the stereotypes and enjoy the overpriced holiday treats? 

When you think of holiday flavors two notes probably come to mind: pumpkin and peppermint. Though pumpkin spice got its plethora of publicity back in 2014, peppermint mocha was the first of the two available at Starbucks. Whether Starbucks is in the conversation or not, what flavor has reigned as the true queen of the holiday season all along: pumpkin or peppermint? 

Drinks

Pumpkin spice latte vs. peppermint mocha

The infamous pumpkin spice latte is both loved and hated by many. Its flavor is balanced between pumpkin, which is artificial, and cinnamon and cloves, which give it its “spice.” People may notice that with all the flavors of this drink in mind, true pumpkin flavor does not exactly hit you in the face as it’s crowded between all the others.

Chloe Pound

On the other hand, the peppermint mocha is pretty straightforward. It uses universal flavors: chocolate and peppermint. Some may find the mocha too sweet, but there is not as much of a divide on whether the drink is good or terrible. Unlike the latte, people do not go around making fun of the poor quality of the peppermint mocha, which may or may not be because of its lesser popularity. That being said, with the peppermint mocha being the more agreeable of the two drinks, the peppermint item wins this category.

Pumpkin spice chai vs. peppermint tea

As opposed to decadent coffee drinks, when thinking of teas, one word comes to mind: refreshing. Of course chai is sort of a different animal than other teas as it’s characterized by a milky flavor, which some people gravitate toward. That being said, pumpkin is not a flavor people are looking for when they want a cup of tea. With its refreshing and light flavor that can be enjoyed hot or cold, once again, the peppermint flavor comes out on top.

Pumpkin white hot chocolate vs. peppermint hot chocolate

It may be obvious which is the more popular of these two options, but nonetheless here are some notes about their respective differences. 

Pumpkin white hot chocolate simply replaces the coffee taste of the latte with a chocolate taste, which perhaps makes it the pumpkin latte for non-coffee drinkers. Peppermint hot chocolate is even more straightforward; it is the classic hot chocolate taste with the added spark from the peppermint. The pumpkin white hot chocolate is definitely worth the try, however peppermint hot chocolate is agreed to be a must-have classic, making peppermint the winner of the drink category. 

Foods

The lineups become a little less parallel in the food category, but they include classics nonetheless.

Pumpkin bread vs. peppermint bark

These two staples are definitely a tough choice; while the chocolate in peppermint bark is surely addictive, it’s nowhere near as comforting and satisfying as pumpkin bread. Pumpkin bread is a substantial snack, and is sold and eaten year round. Try pairing pumpkin bread with one of the hot coffees listed above and it cannot be beat. 

Roasted pumpkin seeds vs. candy cane 

A choice between a rather sophisticated snack or a childhood favorite, pumpkin seeds and candy canes are both cherished by their respective audiences. While pumpkin seeds bring in a bit of a health factor and are a lot less sticky and easier on the teeth, it’s hard to compare to the joy brought by the classic candy cane. Despite what the dentist may recommend, candy canes take the cake. 

Pumpkin pie vs. peppermint fudge  

Pumpkin pie is such a classic, but like the pumpkin latte, the consumer opinions are often divided. As far as peppermint fudge goes, those who know it love it, but it’s a much less common delicacy in the first place. Pumpkin pie brings a true spirit of autumn and the holidays, as well as memories for many. Even though some are not fond of the texture and bold pumpkin flavor, pumpkin pie must come out on top due to the nostalgia and comfort it brings, making pumpkin flavor the winner of the food category.

Overall, peppermint reigns as the superior holiday flavor. It’s a refreshing tea, an addictive candy and a true classic.

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