When Pepperidge Farm opened the collaboration gates with its iconic line of Goldfish crackers last year, I was excited about the possibilities. Sure, Goldfish are known for “blasting” things and “extra crunch-ing” things but colliding with other established seasonings for a limited time is fun, especially when they’re done well. Both the Frank’s RedHot and Old Bay collabs were fantastic, but as someone closely watching for future Goldfish marriage partners, I never saw this one coming. The snack that smiles back has officially gone “basic” with Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams.
I love that the bag is shaped and colored like a bag of Dunkin’ coffee, but also thrilled that the Goldfish are pumpkin spice-flavored, not pumpkin spice latte. Rather than go the PSL route, the cracker-cookies aim to mimic the chain’s Pumpkin Spice Cake Donut, which is great for me because I don’t need any more caffeine than I’m already consuming.
Immediately the aroma wafting from the bag is like a warm autumn hug with honey-kissed swirls of graham. This is my first pumpkin spice product of the season, and I’m giddy. The taste immediately hits me in all of my fall feelings — mild cinnamon and nutmeg back up a fantastic buttery sweet brown sugar molasses flavor accented by cloves. None of the spices are too aggressive, but they’re all accounted for.
The snack has a really great texture too. I would never call Cheddar Goldfish “dry” as an insult, but these are less so than your classic Cheddar variety. Like many crackers, normal Goldfish can build up to a salty paste when eaten quickly, and these carry a bit more moisture than their cheesy counterparts, crumbling with buttery ease. That gentle crumble makes them hard to stop popping into my mouth. It’s far too easy to down a 52-fish serving without thinking of closing the non-resealable bag.
The more I eat, the more the spices mellow, and the flavor fades to a mild but delicious graham that’s incredibly snackable. They’re like a more complex sibling to Cinnamon Teddy Grahams. The Goldfish don’t have the aggressive, in-your-face punch of Pumpkin Spice Cheerios, but I don’t think they need that. No matter how much they might like it, I’m not going to throw these fishies in a bowl to swim in milk, and I love how perfectly balanced the flavor is straight from the bag. When I take a break from the fish and return after eating something salty as a palate cleanser, the spice level is right back to being where it was — a mild but present mix of cloves and cinnamon with the subtlest touch of vanilla.
Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams don’t really remind me of a donut, and they don’t taste distinctly like pumpkin, but they do summon the flavors of the sweater weather season wonderfully. Perhaps if Pepperidge Farm finished the fish with a glaze like the donut pictured on the bag, they would do better to channel that flavor. But I like these Goldfish more than Dunkin’s donut, so I don’t mind its absence.
Purchased Price: I paid way too much to get a two-pack shipped from Goldfish, but you can get them at Target for $2.39
Size: 6.6 oz bag
Purchased at: Online
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (52 pieces, 30g) 140 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 21 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 1 gram of protein.