Some people may want to hang on the last days of summer as long as possible, but I look forward to the flavors of fall almost as much. Maybe it’s all the holidays they might be associated with, but there’s just something about the quintessential foods of the season that really connect us to memories of family and community.
(Hey, the pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks is a huge hit for a reason, after all!)
The Flavors of Fall
Pumpkin pie, apple cider, butternut squash soup, candied sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce… If I had to guess, I’d bet at least one of these foods conjures up memories of a table filled with family or friends, a meal full of laughter, a funny story, or a poignant moment in your past.
That’s no coincidence! Somehow, autumn flavors seem connected to a specific time and place, a particular memory or family member more than any other seasonal foods of the year. And whether you choose to serve a particular food based on your own associations with it or on the positive associations you hope your guests will make, you can’t go wrong with a menu featuring fall favorites.
Bring Autumn Eats to Your Next Event
Here are some of my favorite fall foods—both traditional and a little out-of-the-box—to set a toasty autumn tone for your next fête:
Pumpkin is maybe the quintessential fall food. Mix it up by serving it in savory dishes like pumpkin ravioli or a rich pumpkin stew.
Concord grapes are best known through Welch’s grape jelly, but that’s a shame because they have such amazing flavor. Try them as sorbet, in a couscous salad, or baked into a not-too-sweet focaccia.
Brussels sprouts are a much-maligned veggie with a bad rap. Roasted or pan-seared, maybe with a little bacon and a balsamic vinaigrette, these green gems will be the surprise hit of the evening.
Blood oranges add a dramatic flare to everything from salads to desserts.
And fennel adds incredible depth to dishes, whether served fresh in a salad, or roasted and caramelized alongside a gorgeous cut of meat.
Summer may get all the attention for being a season of bounty, but don’t count out fall! Contact us to find out how you can incorporate some of these fantastic flavors into your next menu or event.
Photo Credit: stijn via Compfight cc
[Photo caption: Brussels sprouts with fried bread crumbs and walnuts.]