Culture

Just Like Starbucks’ PSL, These Weird Pumpkin Spice-Themed Products Are The Official Sign That Fall Is Here

Now that back to school season is officially over, we can welcome one of our favorite times of year: Fall. However, before the weather can even get chilly, the unofficial flavor of the season has already popped up everywhere. Of course, we’re talking about pumpkin spice.

We’re used to the flavor showing up in our lattes and baked goods, but pumpkin spice is that one ingredient that seems to appear everywhere this time of year. It isn’t just foods that are collaborating with the flavor. It’s showing up in the weirdest places and making some of the strangest products we’ve ever seen.

Here are some of the strangest pumpkin-spiced products that we found.

1. Pumpkin Spice Cheerios

Instagram / @wincofoods

Cheerios is definitely one of those cereals we associate with our childhoods but they were usually plain or honey flavored. The introduction of pumpkin spice into this classic cereal has us uncertain. It could be pretty good, but it could also be really bad.

2. Pumpkin Spice Peeps

We’re used to seeing Peeps in our Easter baskets, but nowadays the candy makes an appearance for every season. A pumpkin spice addition to these marshmallow treats sounds too tooth-achingly sweet.

Instagram / @str8t3xan

3. Pumpkin Spice Doggie Treats

Instagram / @bigbentheenglishlab

In this case, what’s good for man is good for man’s best friend. To be exact, pumpkin spice dog treats are a thing and it seems that dogs are crazy for them. Might as well change this product to “pup”kin spice treats.

4. Pumpkin Spice Protein Powder

Instagram / @jmwilco

You know what our workouts are missing? Pumpkin spice protein powder. The combo is already leaving a bad taste in our mouths but if it will keep you gym sharks from skipping leg day, it’s worth a try.

5. Pumpkin Spice Salsa

Instagram / @dollemore

This is outright sacrilegious. As Latinx folk, we feel pretty protective of our salsa and the addition of pumpkin spice to this on is giving us nothing but bad vibes. We don’t even want to entertain the thought of trying this.

6. Pumpkin Spice Tortilla Chips

Instagram / @catladyrobyn

Perfect for the abomination that is your pumpkin spice salsa. Take our advice: DO NOT show up with these as the next BBQ. Your tios and primos WILL roast you and you’ll totally deserve it.

7. Pumpkin Spice Deodorant

 Instagram / @smartypits

Do you really, really love pumpkin spice? Do you want your pits to smell like a freshly brewed PSL? Luckily, deodorant makers, SmartyPits, had you in mind when they created this fragrance. Be warned: when wearing this, you might smell like a Starbucks.

8. Pumpkin Spice Ale & Beer

Instagram / @slateronthemic

A general fact of life is that all good things will eventually be turned into alcohol. It’s with that rule in mind that we bring you pumpkin spice ale and beer. We imagine drinking this is like sipping a crisp Autumn day and it might actually be one of the few collaborations that work.

9. Pumpkin Spice Chicken Sausage

Instagram / @Josephsantoro

Pumpkin spice chicken sausage? We have to object. Just thinking about this product is giving us a serious stomach ache.

10. Pumpkin Spice Beard Products

Instagram / @mellymelpel

Give your beard that good stuff; and by good stuff, we mean pumpkin spice. This beard oil gives a caffeine and pumpkin spice-infused kick to your face.

11. Pumpkin Spice Gouda Cheese

Instagram / @theresa_is_dead

Cheese is great. We’re big fans. However, we can’t imagine combining the smokey flavor of Gouda with the spices advertised in this cheese. We don’t think our palettes are ready for that.

12. Pumpkin Spice Hummus

Instagram / @offbeat.treats

Hummus is creamy perfection but pumpkin spice hummus seems like an unsavory snack. While we appreciate hummus and we appreciate pumpkin spice, these things just don’t go together.

13. Pumpkin Spice Dog Shampoo

Instagram / @luxurypersiankittens

If you can eat and smell like pumpkin spice, so can your pooch. Bathe your four legged baby in this pumpkin spice shampoo and they’ll be in the seasonal spirit as well.

14. Pumpkin Spice Lip Balm

Instagram / @buhwitni

Pucker up! Make sure every kiss you have this Fall is flavored just right with pumpkin spice lip balm. Hopefully your significant other loves PSL as much as you do.

15. Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

Instagram / @spanglishluv

Kombucha   like pumpkin spice is an acquired taste. Not everyone likes them, but those who, do love them. Combining the two makes for a very specific taste only a few will actually enjoy.

16. Pumpkin Spice Gum

Instagram / @misscherrydelight

Are you trying to give up coffee but still crave that pumpkin spice flavor? This gum was made for you.

17. Pumpkin Spice Pasta Sauce

Instagram / @rj.strocchio

This goes right with pumpkin spice salsa in that “should never have been attempted” column. Tragically, this looks like it will ruin a perfectly good pasta dinner.

18. Pumpkin Spice Cough Drops

Instagram / @cyndiyung12

Pumpkin spice even found its way into our over the counter medication. At least when you inevitably catch a cold, you’ll have this pumpkin spice cough drop to ease your pain.

The Dine and Dash of $11 Worth of Chalupas Left One Woman With Almost $500 in Fines and a Felony Conviction

Culture

The Dine and Dash of $11 Worth of Chalupas Left One Woman With Almost $500 in Fines and a Felony Conviction

tacobell / Instagram

With the advent of cuisines like Tex Mex or “Latin-Fusion” cuisines, it can be difficult to find good, authentic Mexican food out in the wild. Especially when so many non-Latinx Americans considers “authentic” Mexican food to be fast-food joints like Taco Bell and Del Taco. It’s practically a universal right for Mexican abuelas to grumble about how disgusting Americanized Mexican food is. And can we blame them? Sure, we love a Crunch Wrap Supreme as much as the next person, but the fast-food twists on Mexican classics give non-Mexicans a warped perception of what true Mexican food actually tastes like. 

And apparently, this problem has become so bad that one particular argument over the authenticity of a certain Mexican food item went all the way up to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The seedy story involves a chalupa, an argument, and an unpaid bill.

Credit: @hotforfood/Instagram

Los Amigos, an Indiana restaurant specializing in “authentic” Mexican food, took a woman named Jennifer Peru to court because she refused to pay for a chalupa that she claimed wasn’t a real chalupa.

On its surface, we can understand why Culver was confused. The chalupas that are sold at Taco Bell are described as  “a fried tortilla shell, in the shape of a small boat, filled with lots of flavorful ingredients”, and Culver may have been used to that version. But according to Los Amigos’s menu, their chalupa is “a flat tortilla with refried beans, topped with cheese and guacamole salad”. To no one’s suprrise, there is quite a stark contrast between the way a fast food joint approaches making Mexican food in comparison to the way a local, mom-and-pop store would make one. 

Credit: via GoogleMaps

The conflict, which happened on February 6, 2018, became a lot dicier after the restaurant’s manager intervened to attempt to alleviate Ms. Culver’s distress. According to court documents, the manager did everything he was supposed to do according to American standards of customer service. He offered to replace the chalupa, he offered to give Culver something different, and he offered to remove the dish and refund her money. Culver refused his offer and continued her meal with her two children (who had ordered a quesadilla and two drinks, in case you were wondering). 

Credit: via GoogleMaps

But things between Culver and Los Amigos took a turn for the worse after Culver finished her chalupa and quietly tried to leave the restaurant without paying her bill.

According to court records, Culver tried to sneak out of the restaurant by walking “briskly” past the cash register with her two children in tow. But the restaurant manager caught up to Culver in the parking lot before she could make her great escape. After being asked to pay her $11.73 bill, Culver responded that she’s “not paying for that [expletive]”. Because the manager wasn’t one to mess around with, he called the cops on the dine-and-dasher and reported her for theft. 

According to the local police, they called Culver five times asking her to pay for her stolen chalupa, and assured her that if she coughed up $12, the restaurant would not pursue legal action. But apparently, Culver was convinced that she was in the right in this situation. As promised, Los Amigos decided to press charges and Culver was convicted for theft. The charge was then elevated to felony theft after the courts discovered she had a prior conviction for the theft on her record. 

Credit: @livingkool_/Instagram

Ultimately, a jury convicted Culver of a level 6 felony theft, resulting in 120 days on electronic monitoring, and 14 months of probation, and fined a cumulative total of $485.

Culver wasn’t happy with this decision, however, and appealed the conviction in the Indiana Court of Appeals. But the Court of Appeals held up the original conviction, unanimously deciding that Culver had, indeed, unlawfully dined and dashed, veritably stealing from Los Amigos. As of now, the saga has ended. It’s safe to say that Culver learned the lesson of not messing with the manager of an authentic Mexican restaurant. 

According to some brief internet research, this isn’t the first time that Los Amigos has resorted to teaming up with law enforcement in order to combat difficult customers. One particularly salty 2019 Google review of Los Amigos claims that the restaurant stated they “were going to call the cops” if a woman attempted to not pay for her meal after she complained of its quality at the cash register. While the woman claimed she had no intention of doing so, she was still annoyed that the matter was on the verge of being escalated so abruptly. Considering this altercation happened a full year after The Chalupa Incident of 2019, it’s no wonder the staff was on edge. If there’s one thing Los Amigos doesn’t stand for, it’s claims that their food is inauthentic. 

This Mom Has Gone Viral For Making and Passing Out Hundreds of Tortas to Mexico’s Impoverished Citizens Every Week

Fierce

This Mom Has Gone Viral For Making and Passing Out Hundreds of Tortas to Mexico’s Impoverished Citizens Every Week

Moms are truly our greatest allies. They’re the people who we go to first when we’re in trouble. They’re the ones who always have the best advice and the warmest love. It’s not just their own children they offer this maternal affection to. Think about all the tias, abuelas and other women in your life who have in some way ⁠— big or small ⁠— given you kindness and support when it’s really mattered. It’s those women we talk about when we extol the virtues of maternal nature. That considerate giving of oneself is what we can always depend on from these women. 

An especially valid example of this is the weekly service one mother performs for the hungry and impoverished in her local community. 

Twitter / @guera_trizz

Earlier this month, Twitter user Beatriz (@guera_trizz) shared a video of her mother passing out sandwiches and tortas to long lines of calmly waiting people in her Mexican neighborhood. In the caption, Beatriz explained that her mother assembles and serves hundreds of sandwiches to the hungry every week. Her mother, Joy, makes the sandwiches herself with her own funds and labor ⁠— asking for nothing in return for this good deed. Instead, every week, she does what mothers do best: she feeds those who are not always able to feed themselves. 

On Twitter, responses to Joy and her torta philanthropy were extremely supportive and Twitter users began asking how they could help her efforts. 

Twitter / @guera_trizz

Expressing their appreciation for Joy, many tweets suggested that a GoFundMe or some other donation system be set up in effort to contribute funds to her weekly sandwich offerings. Soon after these responses began to come in, Beatriz set up a GoFundMe in her mother’s honor. In the week that it has been active, Joy’s sandwich fund has raised more than $2,100 thanks to nearly 180 contributors. That’s a whole lot of tortas for a lot of hungry people!

Others on Twitter were quick to praise Joy and thank her for being a good role model and such a giving force in her community.

Twitter / @guera_trizz

Many responses to Beatriz’s initial tweet called Joy “an angel,” “a blessing” and “a queen.” Some Twitter users suggested that people like Joy should always be fully funded in order to carry out their missions while others expressed the hope to one day join in and personally help with this wonderful cause.

One tweet by @SessiStassia suggested other ways that Joy’s fans can help if they are unable to contribute to her fund. 

“For anyone who is not in a position financially to donate to the awesome GoFundMe that’s set up, remember that your local food bank or soup kitchen would love even one afternoon of your time to volunteer. Even if you can donate, consider emulating this angel & her good works.” 

Beatriz also posted a follow-up video of her mom once the initial tweet went viral.

In the short video, Beatriz says to her mother, “Ma, you’re famous; what do you think?” In response, Joy says, “That’s good,” while giving a peace sign and thumbs up. Of course, this video ⁠— along with her charity ⁠—  just made the internet love her even more. 

“She’s so pretty and sweet…I’m obsessed,” one person tweeted while another followed up with, “I’m sorry ma’am. But she is OUR mother now. We are all adopting her and we’re all proud and you’re just gonna have to deal with it!”

Joy’s weekly food donations come at a time when Mexico is feeling some of its most difficult economic pressures. 

Twitter / @TheEconomist

In December of 2019, Mexico’s new president Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) took over as the country’s leader. One of his first acts as president was to cancel the construction of a $13Billion airport that would have benefited the private sector and the economy as a whole. The first leftist president Mexico has seen in its modern era, AMLO has hoped to stabilize the country’s economy by slashing spending. Unfortunately, this has stalled the economy instead. Additionally, the issues that Mexico has had with the repeal of NAFTA has impacted the country’s ability to export to Canada and America ⁠— a business that it greatly depends upon. 

Mexico also has one of the worst class distributions in the developed world. The richest citizens have 14 times as much income as the poorest and food accessibility is a problem. The mass migration of displaced people from Central America has also resulted in more individuals in need of resources like food and shelter. 

It’s people like Joy who are actively helping those who most need it. Let’s take this charitable lesson and apply it to positively impact our own communities. It’s sure to make Mamá Joy proud.