Fall Flavors

Seasonal transitions can be rough, especially when they feel so abrupt. Leaves began to blush and fall overnight, as temperatures suddenly plunged back into sock-and-shoe territory. The distinct scent of earth fills the cool air, refreshing after a sweltering summer but still jarring nonetheless. Unlike the change over from winter to spring, which drags on endlessly through the first half of the year, this is an efficient changing of the guard; autumn is here, no doubt about it. Still scrambling to adjust, the best way that I’ve found to wrap my mind around the loss of stone fruits, corn, and fresh herbs is to concentrate on the new flavors to be found. Focusing on the positives, fall has just as many delicious tastes to look forward to!

What follows is a brief list of ingredients that first come to mind when I think of the season, along with recipe suggestions to inspire further autumnal appreciation. By no means exhaustive and not necessarily things that are found solely in seasonal cooking, this is simply what fall tastes like to me.

Caramelized onions
Sweet potatoes
Brown “butter”

What are your favorite fall recipes, and how are you coping with the transition?

29 thoughts on “Fall Flavors

  1. I can’t get enough kale during fall, especially with a caramelized sweet potato and some quinoa! I was just catching up on blogs this morning and reading through some of your recent posts and I just wanted you to know how beautiful and inspirational your blog is Hannah!

  2. I am one of many who are gaga over pumpkin this time of year and I am VERY into soups, stews, and chili (with cornbread of course).

    As for coping with the Fall season, I am still in the midst of a heat wave here in Ca. It was 102 yesterday!!! I can’t wait for the cold weather to come.

  3. Speculoos tastes like all year round to me! : )

    Also I have to admit that I’m jealous of the chilly fall days and crisp air that you are adjusting to… it’s been hot as summer in southern California this week and I don’t like it one bit– I miss seeing the fall colors that I grew up with in Wisconsin, and I want to join the rest of the (northern hemisphere) internet and revel in pumpkin-everything and warming soups.

  4. You pretty much hit the nail on the head with the fall flavors. I was looking at my to bake list yesterday and realized that it was all apple, caramel, pumpkin, pear and speculoos. Berries are terrific, but fall just tastes so much better to me.

  5. What an awesome post. I tasted speculoos for the first time earlier this year, and I absolutely love it.

    Autumn (as we call it over here ;) ) also tastes like almonds to me, in any form – marzipan, nut roasts, or as a snack by the fire.

  6. So many of these ingredients and flavours are ones that I adore, and I wish I could fling myself headily and utterly into autumn. But it heralds winter, and therefore always has that dark shadow…

    That aside, right now I would like some sort of dessert pulling together chestnuts, figs, and the spices. Yep yep. :)

  7. Despite the fact that I dread winter, the transition from summer to fall is my favorite. Probably because fall in Colorado is just so gorgeous. I love the crisp air and trees full of gold leaves, studded with the occasional green holdout. That being said, I love cinnamon and apple flavors and making all kinds of soups!

  8. I love anything and everything that is remotely related to pumpkins, apples and chocolate during fall. However, the weather is definitely taking a lot of time to cool here in Orlando…

  9. For me chanterelle mushrooms are one of autumn’s stars! But it also the time of year when I think about game, pheasant, partridges and venison are all great for their rich flavours – I recently made a partridge tagine for the first time and it was not only a great success but the partridges were amazingly cheap at £3.65 each.

  10. I just love fall ingredients! Chestnuts, figs, hazelnuts, apples and caramelised onions!! I think I love the entire list you have there!

    I love the photo of the golden brown and red fallen maple leaves you have taken! Beautiful!

  11. Fall is my favorite time of year – from the air to the food! I love all of the food on your list, and would also add squash.

  12. That is one tasty list of flavors! We had a stinkin’ heat wave here this week so I haven’t even begun to think about fall flavors yet, but I’ve been yearning for all the pumpkin I’m seeing pop up on the blogosphere lately! I got a few apples in my CSA box this week, which was pretty exciting.

  13. Mmm. It looks like you’ve covered all the bases! My list is almost identical, except that mine would include a decidedly un-autumnal ingredient—maple syrup. Hey, it flows in my very veins; how could I go one season without it? Okay, if I had to replace it, it’d be brown sugar.

    Spending my first Fall outside of Canada has actually consisted of its own difficult transition. Where were the pumpkins? I want to go apple-picking! Why don’t Italians sell brown sugar? Slowly but surely, the leaves are starting to change, even while we’re still immersed in summery temperatures, and the delicious smell of Fall—what my sister and I call “Halloween smell”—is among us. And, though I craved apple crumble without actually having brown sugar, I simply added… wait for it… maple syrup to demerara sugar and voilà! Canadian Autumn in Italy.

    Thanks for this post, Hannah. You rock.

Leave a Reply