Music styles change, car bodies change and fashion changes. So do trends in flavors and food. Some flavors are fall to the core, like apples, pardon the pun. Some come and go in popularity. Salted caramel, you've had your day. (I still love you though, like an old jacket that still fits and feels great but is a bit out of style.) Below are my top tens!
My wife, boys and I are avid watchers of The Great English Baking Show. The Brit bakers always say that cinnamon is so, "American". After all, where would apple pie, cider and sweet rolls be without this ground tree bark? Every year when I go to Lowe's around this time of year I inhale the scent of cinnamon brooms. It's fall y'all, time to put cinnamon in all the baked goods you can make!
Throughout the highlands of America people are skipping church to go apple picking. This yearly ritual for many families is akin to the Christmas trip to cut a live tree to adorn the family room. I love to have a pile in the house to eat raw in the morning with breakfast, with a smear of peanut butter or to bake into a pie or my famous Clafoutis.
Name one person who doesn't like brown sugar. See, you can't! Molasses mixed with sugar intensifies the caramel flavor of any baked good but also can be used to encourage caramelization of vegetables and meats in a high temperature sauté.
Can anything approximate the caramelized sweet cream of a toasted marshmallow. This is the ingredient that make s'mores the centerpiece of my family's Annual Pumpkin Blaze party on Halloween night. Toasted marshmallow is finding its way into all manner of fall products including Pepperage Farm's Milano Cookies.
This may be a new one on you! It was on me. Tandoori is a warm Indian spice mixture that is terrific on roasted cauliflower. Get some and experiment with anything roasted and savory this time of year.
Oh brown elixir of baking I salute you. This flavor, from a member of the orchid family, is the key for anything from ice cream to cake. During autumn it mixes with cinnamon, brown sugar and cream to be the flavor of the holidays.
Ginger, oh you are my favorite, from raw shavings with sushi to candied in icings. Ginger is both hot, spicy and sweet all at the same time. Make a tea with lemon if the fall chill starts to make you feel under the weather.
Haters are going to hate. But pumpkin flavor sells this time of year. I love them! Most of the pumpkin we eat through canned pumpkin and other products is actually different varieties of squash raised to make the perfect pumpkin flavor and the perfect texture. Enjoy eating them, or at least decorate with them. I get as excited about the pumpkins being out at the farm stand as I do when the Christmas Tree lots open.
9- Star Anise
Let's be honest, Star Anise is pretty. Crushing them in a mortar with a pestle just makes you feel culinary to the core and its smells amazing. If fall was distilled to a perfume this would be eau de autumn.
Enrobed apples, drizzles on coffee and ice cream, oh my! God smiled on us when we learned that sugar when heated forms a flavor that excites the palates of almost everyone and enhances almost any dessert.