I originally planned to take a picture of the new Pumpkin Spice M&M’s in a seasonal and traditional setting laced with a backdrop of Indian corn, scarecrows, and autumnal delicacies. Heck, I would have even settled for an NFL tailgate. But since these new chocolate candies started hitting stores before kids went back to school and because my garden is filled with nothing but basil, feel free to use your imagination when looking at the photos throughout this review.
Not that I’m complaining about the arrival of anything pumpkin related. I was the guy who hoarded Pumpkin Pie Spice Pringles last year. But pumpkin means fall is here (or around the corner) which means exchanging humid summer days for watching football during breezy fall afternoons.
I’m sure the usual pumpkin spice-flavored suspects will be out in force again this year — Pumpkin Pie Pop-Tarts, McDonald’s Pumpkin Pie, and my personal favorite, Edy’s Pumpkin Ice Cream – but joining the pumpkin patch for the first time are these lovable M&M’s. Lovable because seriously, how can you not love a talking chocolate candy guy with a pumpkin on his head?
Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are bigger than your standard M&M’s (shown here in white) but not quite as oblong or imposing as Peanut of Almond M&M’s. I’m guessing the shell color choices of orange, green, and brown were meant to correspond to a pumpkin’s color. Beyond each colored shell is a sweet milk chocolate.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “Whoa there, why not white chocolate? That buttery, frosting-like taste was such a winning flavor with the Carrot Cake M&M’s, and would go pa-pa-perfectly with the pumpkin spice!” Well all I can say is hey, I feel you. While I don’t think anyone but the Nazis have opposed classic Milk Chocolate M&M’s, the simple truth is that they’re kind of plain on their own.
And Pumpkin Spice M&M’s aren’t much different. As I crunched down on a single candy, all I initially tasted was chocolate. True, it’s better than tasting raw pumpkin, but I was expected something a little more scrumptious. Then, almost as an aftertaste, a hint of cinnamon emerged. Here’s the thing though; it’s not that traditional vanilla and cinnamon warmth that one usually associates with pumpkin. Instead, it’s kind of a wimpy version of Cinnamon Red Hots. Cool and vaguely spicy, it’s more of a sensation than a flavor, and it’s not something that goes with the milk chocolate flavor. To use a gardening analogy, it’s like a pumpkin in a field of basil.
I may lack the discernible taste receptors to differentiate on the minute differences between cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and whatever else might go into the ubiquitous “pumpkin spice,” but having tasted the flavor in a variety of products, I’m pretty sure at least a few of those spices were left out of the party. While the taste of cinnamon resonates weakly in the aftertaste, the truth is you’ve got to eat these one at a time and slowly to really take advantage.
Yeah, like anyone actually does that with M&M’s.
If you’ve been one of the few people who’ve secretly got their candy fix by chugging both Milk Chocolate M&M’s and Cinnamon Red Hots, well, these Pumpkin Spice M&M’s are going to make you happy. Otherwise, you’ll just want to stick with your standard favorite M&M’s variety.
(Nutrition Facts – 1.5 oz. – 210 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 30 milligrams of sodium, 0 milligrams of potassium, 30 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of dietary fiber, 27 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.)
Item: Pumpkin Spice M&M’s
Purchased Price: $3.00
Size: 9.9 oz. bag
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Forcing autumn. Bigger than standard M&M’s. Tastes took much like regular M&Ms. Doesn’t melt in your hands. Using candy to help defeat the Nazis.
Cons: Weird cinnamon aftertaste doesn’t go with chocolate. Not really pumpkin spicy. No actual pumpkin involved, despite oddly noted gram of fiber. Bigger than standard M&M’s, which could mean eating about 75 grams of sugar without realizing it.