What is ‘pumpkin spice’ anyway? And why do we crave it?

Each fall, as leaves turn golden and the crisp autumn air carries the scent of pine, Catherine Franssen awaits her husband to bring home the latest pumpkin spice-flavored concoction he has discovered at the grocery store.

“My husband — whose favorite pie is pumpkin, he’ll eat it year round — thinks the pumpkin spice craze is funny and brings home all sorts of odd pumpkin spice items to try,” said Franssen, assistant professor of psychology and director of the neurostudies minor at

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