Fall is upon us and that means saying goodbye to the sun and hello to crunching golden yellow, orange and red leaves under your feet, wrapping up in wooly scarves and beanies, and eating delicious comfort food and hot drinks. If the thought of fall makes you think of pumpkins and apples, then we’re here to expand your palette and share some other fall flavors this season. But don’t worry—they’ll still give you that same warm fall feelings you know and love.
6 fall flavors (that aren’t pumpkin)
There are so many different varieties of figs and some extend into the early fall season, so you have just enough time to savor these delicious soft, pear-shaped fruits. The common types of figs you’ll find are Black Mission, Adriatic and Kadota, each ranging from a very sweet taste, to not-so-sweet and everything in between. Some have a rich, nutty autumnal flavor to it, whilst others can be served dried.
If you want to add figs to your fall palette, try honey roasted figs. A very simple dish to make with minimal ingredients of figs (cut in half), honey, salt and lemon juice.
Move aside apples, there’s a new fall fruit in season. During fall, pears grow in abundance and pair really nicely with other known seasonal foods. They can add a nice and light crunchy texture to salads, be the star of their own warm and rich dessert pie or even add extra flavor to savory dishes with chicken or shrimp.
If you want to take advantage of the juicy and soft texture of pears though and try something different to candied apples, then we recommend poached pears for dessert. Douse pears in a fragrant mixture of red wine and flavors like orange peels, cherries, vanilla, cinnamon, white/brown sugar or honey. The result will be an elegant and rich flavor profile of sweet, spice and fruitiness.
Cranberries are a nutritious superfood that suits the fall season. They are quite tart so you can cut through the sharp taste by adding sugar to it. However, for those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth, the tartness of cranberries can be a welcomed fall flavor. It may take a little taste testing to be able to balance out the cranberries but it’ll be well worth it in the end.
Fall is the perfect season to bring out the oven mitts and bake delicious treats at home, like cranberry bread. With a doughy, chewy bread, the dried cranberries are like mini surprises, that add a unique fall flavor to every bite. This recipe even uses nuts as well, for an extra layer of texture.
With a slightly sweeter taste than their walnut counterparts, pecans are a fall-season, must-have. They add a crispy, crunchy texture to meals and can be used in savory dishes or desserts. Or, they can even be a delicious snack on their own.
Create a flavorful mix of slow cooked candied pecans. Coat pecans in a rich mix of cinnamon and sugar for that fall vibe. If you want to as well, you can add in a variety of nuts such as walnuts or almonds to keep it even more interesting. Munch on your candied nuts in between meals or fill them in a mason jar, wrap it with a ribbon and give it as a thoughtful, homemade gift.
If you’re a big fan of pumpkin spice, then you’ve probably already had nutmeg. But if you want to move away from the pumpkin but still keep to those rich fall flavors, then nutmeg is a really good alternative to turn to. You won’t need to use too much of it as well, as it’s typically added as a flavor enhancer to season dishes and sometimes, even beverages.
You can add grated or ground nutmeg to gnocchi, rice, lamb and stew, and that’s just the savory meals. Desserts can also benefit including puddings and cakes to create that rich and spicy aroma as well.
Whilst maple sap may technically be collected in spring, it definitely fits into the fall season vibe. Adding it to your favorite comfort foods to bring out natural sweetness or to add some depth to roasts, it pairs perfectly with your other seasonal favorites, so you wouldn’t be amiss for thinking about maple in the fall.
Add maple syrup to your dressings, pies and roasted vegetables or even your orange-maple butternut squash mash for a deep flavor.
Experiment this fall
Try out some different fall flavors in your cooking and baking this season. You might be surprised and find yourself dethroning pumpkin as your favorite fall food.