Want to Know What's in Pumpkin Flavoring? (Hint: Not Pumpkin)

These are not in most pumpkin flavorings
These are not in most pumpkin flavorings
Heather Hoch

Since we're already seeing Christmas lights and peppermint-flavored everything, it may already be too late to save anyone from the pumpkin flavored-deluge. But just in case you're still sucking down those PSLs (that's Pumpkin Spice Latte, for the non-Starbucks fans out there) and snacking on pumpkin-flavored almonds (which are a real thing now!), here's an inside look at what ingredients really makes up that precious pumpkin flavor.

And spoiler alert here, people, it's not pumpkins.

See also: 5 Metro Phoenix Pumpkin Treats To Try Before You Get Pumpkin-ed Out

The New York Times reports that sales of pumpkin-flavored food products are up 20 percent from last year and will account for some $290 million this year. According to Nielsen, we have those darn, lazy millennials to blame for the trend, since they're the ones snatching up these "limited-edition" products.

Anyway, Michael Moss went behind the scenes at Flavor & Fragrance Specialties in New Jersey, where he found up what really goes into the laboratory creation we know and love as pumpkin flavoring.

By the way, if you're looking for some authentic pumpkin flavor in your life, here are some easy instructions on how to puree a pumpkin -- and a whole bunch of pumpkin recipes from our Chow Bella contributors.

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