Autumn is upon us. Well, for those of us in the northern hemisphere anyway.
This is my favorite time of year. The weather changes in the best possible way and the food reflects these changes. However, there is one thing about Autumn that is disheartening to me: why do the seasonal flavors seem to focus on pumpkin??? The season has so much more to offer our palates but we’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled by this over-hyped flavor. It’s time for this to stop.
Autumn has it Alll
This reprieve from the heat of Summer comes sauntering in to entice us all to snuggle up with hot tea and warm cookies. Autumn offers enough warmth in the afternoons to enjoy summer activities such as hiking and barbecuing. The cooler temperatures of the evenings justifies fluffy afghans, slippers and cocoa by a cozy fire. I find it to be far more refreshing than Spring where the Winter frost still hangs onto each morning.
Our attitude towards the food we want changes right along with the winter. Fruit trays are replaced with the fresh baked goodies we remember as a child. Cinnamon rolls, brownies, apple pies and buttered squash become the craving. We want the warm and gooey flavors that represent the harvest season.
Not Your Grandmother's Latte
With all that Autumn has to offer, we seem to have settled into a rut of worshipping only two flavors: pumpkin and cinnamon. Thanks, Starbucks, for all the work you put into finding such a popular way to transport these two tastes in a latte. Thanks, but no thanks.
Pumpkin Spice has manifested everywhere, not just in the infamous latte. Bread, cake, crumbles, cocoa; it’s like the Blob, gobbling up everything in sight! Just yesterday I was stopped in my tracks, stunned into pure shock while perusing the Halloween candy section at a local department store. Hershey's Kisses have joined the pumpkin-obsessed foray. I thought I was going to cry… still feel that I might.
It's Good, but I Know There is Better
Please do not mistake me; I love pumpkin but I’m a firm believer its best form is via pie. Pumpkin is a very earthy and subtle flavor. The spice and mode of flavor delivery is what supports pumpkin’s appeal. Pie just does it best by balancing out the rustic flavor with a smooth texture that melts in your mouth.
With the vast flavor offerings that come with Autumn, I am just sad to find the mainstream focus on pumpkin alone. Give me spiced apples, cranberries, candied ginger, or plums. I crave a dash of cloves transported amidst an oatmeal cookie. Use brown sugar to caramelize a pear then drizzle with honey, dust with nutmeg and pop it into a tart crust. Even a simple maple donut would make me happier than pumpkin spice cake.
Expand Your Horizons; Give Pumpkins a Rest
I found a great article on Bustle.com that boasts an inspiring list of flavors for any Autumn enthusiast. For a fun Fall treat any time of year, check out my Honey Bee Cookies: peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, a dash of cloves to kick it off. Or while you’re out basking in the afternoon sun, pick up some pears and plums to roast during the brisk evenings at home.
Now that’s how I do Autumn! Keep your silly latte to yourself.
All [creativity] is not lost...
Corissa has been an artist her entire life and attended the Art Institute for design after completing a Bachelor’s in Accounting from National American University. She validates the contradicting combination with “I love my art but I don’t have to starve for it.”
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