The Battle Royale of Pumpkin Milkshakes

Despite our differences, at the end of the day my mom and I can always come together over plaid, decorating for the seasons and crusty bread and butter. Actually, we have very similar taste on a lot of things when it comes to decorating, activities and desserts. 

This weekend, I went home to spend some time with my friends and family in sweet home, Rochester, Illinois. My mom and I spent half the day on Sunday running a few errands, including getting the materials for yesterday’s Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins. So while we were out and about on a beautiful fall day, we passed a Culver’s sign boasting it’s new Pumpkin Spice Shake. The sight of it reminded my mom that her friend had said that Sonic had the “best” Pumpkin Pie Shake she’d ever had. Given our similar taste in fall and dessert, it took us less than a minute to decide that a challenge was in store. 

So we stopped by Culver’s and then scurried over to Sonic. We sat down at a bench outside, both contenders sitting side by side with two straws in each and looking all official.

We started with Culver’s Pumpkin Spice Shake, and at the same time, we each took one big sip. With a powerful pumpkin taste, it was unanimous that what we tasted was straight-up pumpkin pie. Everything from the richness of the custard to the spice combination screamed “Thanksgiving.”

We then reached for the Sonic Pumpkin Pie Shake in its shiny silver cup, took our perspective straws and took equally large sips. This sip crunched — it was chock-full of bits of cinnamon-y graham cracker pieces. This one really hit the consistency nail on the head. The pie shake was just like a pie from the crust to the whipped cream. 

But once we stopped chewing the pie shake, we realized that we couldn’t actually taste the pumpkin in it. It was so weak in pumpkin flavor in fact that we almost took it back up to the cashier to be sure that we got the right order. Even just looking at the color of each shake, you could tell that the Culver’s one had significantly more pumpkin in it. As disappointing as that was, we kept drinking it because the texture was so appealing. 

It wasn’t long until we realized that if we took a sip of one, then another quick sip of the other and swished it around our mouth, it was the perfect combination of pumpkin flavor and crunchy crust. 

Looking back, we realized that we probably should have tried the Sonic one first. Since it followed the Culver’s shake that had such a strong flavor, it probably got robbed on a completely fair evaluation.

But what was done was done and we were serious about our taste test, so there had to be one official winner. This time, it went to Culver’s Pumpkin Spice Shake! [Que Applause] There was just no getting past the superior taste, even if Sonic had the better texture. So next time you’re out on a beautiful fall day and are in the market for a twist on an autumn classic, we have to recommend Culver’s Pumpkin Spice Shake. 

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