Sometimes a politician says something so outrageous that you can't just let it go uncommented on. This is one of those days.
At issue: The pumpkin spice latte. And, in particular, Hillary Clinton's comments about that most delicious of treats.
As regular readers of this blog -- or my Twitter feed -- know, I have long been on Team Pumpkin Spice Latte. Hell, I spilled one -- in all its orangey-goodness -- on the floor mat of a rental car during the Ohio River Ramble way back in 2006. (Sorry, Enterprise!)
And I am far from alone. In the 12 years of its existence, the PSL -- and, yes, I refer to the drink that way all the time -- has become "the most popular seasonal beverage of all time," according to the decidedly unbiased Starbucks Web site. The creation story of the PSL should bring a tear to even the most jaded eye. This from Peter Dukes, the director of Espresso and Brewed Coffee (amazing title!) for Starbucks:
The team had successfully developed the recipes for holiday favorites Eggnog Latte and Peppermint Mocha, and were looking for a new beverage to add to the fall espresso lineup. On this spring day, the team brought in kitschy fall decorations and pumpkin pies, and began to explore ideas for a pumpkin-inspired espresso beverage. They would sample a forkful of pumpkin pie, followed by a sip of hot espresso – teasing out which flavors from the pie best complemented the coffee.
Nods went around the room. Dukes and the team felt they were on to something.
They soon received the go-ahead from senior leaders to work on a prototype, and for the next three months tasted and re-tasted different versions of the beverage. They settled on a recipe that used pumpkin spice sauce with cinnamon, clove and nutmeg – handcrafted with espresso and steamed milk – and topped off with whipped cream and a dash of pumpkin pie topping.
[Wipes away single tear]
Yes, they were on to something very special indeed. In fact, the creation of the PSL by Dukes -- an inventor on-par with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford -- led to a pumpkin revolution in our culture that I, for one, welcome with open arms. Pumpkin spice greek yogurt? I'm in! Pumpkin spice candy corn? Sure, I'll take a handful! Pumpkin spice kale chips? Okay, well, everyone has to draw a line somewhere.
Pumpkin spice products have grown so popular that Starbucks announced this year that it was actually going to put real pumpkin in the PSL! And the drink announced that news from its own Twitter handle! (And, yes, I do -- now -- follow it.)
So, in short, the PSL is the best. The eggnog latte? Pish posh. The Peppermint Mocha? Very basic. A plain latte? I am going to assume that was a joke.
What's that you say? What about Clinton's point about how many calories are in the PSL? Here's the drink's nutritional info -- via Starbucks -- for a grande (that's a "medium" to normal people) with 2 percent milk: 310 calories and seven grams of fat. That's practically good for you! Especially when you consider downing a grande 2 percent Salted Caramel Mocha (360 calories) or a grande 2 percent White Chocolate Mocha (400 calories).
What would you rather have for breakfast -- a PSL (310 calories) or two cups of cheerios with 1¼ cups of skim milk (300 calories)? No contest.
Look, life is short. Why not drink as many pumpkin spice lattes as you can? In fact, I am going to follow my own advice and order up one of those suckers right now. Bye!
(Editor's note: Chris actually left the office to get one after writing this. Then again, he does that every day.)