Taco Tuesday death match: Tacos vs. Pumpkin Spice Latte
It's Pumpkin Spice Latte Day! On this day, Sept. 8, Starbucks everywhere will be opening their doors to a line of basics dressed in skinny jeans, boots and infinity scarves to sell them their elixir of choice: the PSL. These drinks are massively popular, but can they take on tacos on tacos' own turf?
I'll be honest: This is a tough one for me. I don't care much for the Pumpkin Spice Latte, but I know that lots of people do. I assumed PSL-steria would be a passing craze, but it persists on, infiltrating every corner of the culinary world in new and ever more disgusting incarnations — from burgers to chewing gum.
There is no arguing with public opinion. It's what has made Taco Tuesday an institution, and it's what could finally unseat the reigning champion. The masses speak each September, and what they say is this: Give us pumpkin-flavored milk drinks!
Face-off #1: Has the power to make your friends more annoying
Tacos: Unless your friend is me, tacos don't make your friends too annoying, because no one's going on and on about how they're OMG so excited for tacos. Tacos make your friends extra awesome, particularly if they're thinking of making some and sharing them with you.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: On the other hand, Pumpkin Spice Latte has a volunteer evangelistic street team that won't shut up about how delicious pumpkin concentrate and entirely too much nutmeg flavoring is. They snap photos of the stuff, blow up your Facebook with countdowns, and if you ever casually mention that either you haven't had or aren't fond of the stuff, their voice lifts four excruciating octaves while they explain how wrong you are. It's like CrossFit people, but shriller. So much shriller. Congrats, PSL. You "win."
Face-off #2: More affordable
Tacos: Tacos cost only about $2 at your basic taco truck, so it's pretty easy to develop and feed your addiction to them.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Your basic tall Pumpkin Spice Latte costs $3.75, which means that if you like tiny coffees and spending too much money on them, you're in luck.
Face-off #3: Most awesome at inducing persistent halitosis
Tacos: Tacos aren't going to give you fresh breath, it's true. They have all kinds of ingredients that are notorious for making you stanky, like onions, garlic and cheese. But once you brush your teeth or nosh on a piece of gum, you'll be fine, and your friends will want to be around you again.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Have you ever accidentally spilled milk in your car or left a coffee cup in there overnight on a really hot day? You know that awful, farty smell that accompanies hot, aging dairy? That's what a Pumpkin Spice Latte tastes like pretty much immediately after you stop coating your mouth and throat with it. There isn't enough mouthwash in the world to make it go away either, so you just walk around smelling like you dumped a quart of milk into a decorative gourd and left it in the sun for a week.
Face-off #4: Tastes the most like the autumnal equinox
Tacos: Tacos don't really taste like fall. I mean, they are the perfect fall food just by virtue of the fact that they are a perfect food for always, and I, of course, recommend ditching the traditional Thanksgiving turkey for delicious Tex-Mex.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Pumpkin spice has begun to represent the endless turning of the Earth as it rotates into darkness on its way to winter. Of all the complaints I have personally about this glorified gourd syrup drink, I am always happy when I begin to see advertisements for it, because that means summer — the worst season — is drawing to a blissful close.
Face-off #5: The best at being an actual meal
Tacos: Tacos hit pretty much every food group if you play your cards right. They are essentially the perfect food. One day the medical world will acknowledge this as the absolute fact that it is and start replacing saline drips with this nutritious alternative.
Pumpkin Spice Latte: Not a food. Zero points awarded.
And the winner?
For the first time in Taco Tuesday death match history, tacos got completely spanked, taking in only 392 points to PSL's 532. That's OK, tacos, you're a timeless treat, and pumpkin spice everything will soon fade back into the clearance section of supermarket endcaps everywhere.