The Disturbing Colonial History of Pumpkin Spice

Genocide, slavery and spices

Thomas Smith

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Illustration by the author; Midjourney image & 18th century Dutch engraving (public domain)

Pumpkin spice is all the rage these days. The flavor has become synonymous with fall, and for many people invokes the joy of the changing seasons.

What most people don’t realize, though, is that there’s a dark colonial past behind this seemingly modern, carefree flavor.

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