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PUMPKIN SPICE AND OTHER THINGS NICE

Fall is officially here, the evening air is crisp, leaves are starting to turn orange and yellow, football is in full swing, and pumpkin spice has taken over the world.  Do you know that there are other flavors and scents out there just as good, just as delicious, and just as “fall” as pumpkin spice?

Besides pumpkin, fall also means apple season and the spicy cinnamon scent of fresh apple pie should easily diminish our obsession with pumpkin spice.  Our local apples are at their sweetest, crispest, and  tastiest in the fall. Fresh apples eaten out of hand, cinnamon apple donuts, cinnamon apple pancakes, even cinnamon apple oatmeal, and fresh apple cider all shout out flavors of fall.

Cranberry is also big. Cranberry adds a bright and acidic taste to a season often overloaded with heavy cool weather foods. Add fresh cranberries to desserts, casseroles and muffins and use sweetened, dried cranberries in everything from salads to trail mix and rice pilaf. (Try Dylan’s Cranberry Black Tea Steamer in the deli.)

Maple is another fall flavor. Try Runamok’s Sugarmaker’s Cut Maple Syrup for pancakes on a crisp fall morning, or as a sweetener in cakes and muffins, a savory glaze for roast ham, a dash of flavor in hot tea, or add it to your favorite pumpkin recipe.

Chai is a foolproof flavor for fall. Our local North Fork Chai has a knockout chai concentrate to use for iced chai drinks on a warm day or a warm, soothing hot cup on a crisp fall morning.

Pear, pomegranate, ginger, and caramel also belong to the season, so enjoy your pumpkin spice, but venture out to other fall flavors as well. You’ll be glad you did.

         Jan