9 Fall Foods That Aren’t Pumpkin Spice
The quintessential autumnal flavor, pumpkin spice can be found in just about everything, from pancake batter to cookies and pasta. But for the complete cornucopia of fall flavors, we go beyond pumpkin spice with a list of other warm and comforting Italian foods that deserve a shout-out.
A specialty mushroom from Naples, these grilled delicacies make a hearty and tender addition to a range of dishes. For a gourmet update on your favorite Italian foods, try including it with risotto or sprinkling it on pasta. Another way to enjoy these savory and delicate mushrooms is by adding it to appetizers like bite sized quiches or a flavorful bread dipping sauce. These premium quality mushrooms also make an excellent topping for pizza, a classic Italian comfort food.
2. Truffle Oil
The diamonds of the culinary world, truffles add a rich and buttery flavor to extra virgin olive oil, which can be used to boost the taste of pasta and risotto. You can even drizzle this luxury truffle oil on homemade baked fries for an added touch of richness. Another crowd-pleasing Italian dish, Bruschetta gets a gourmet twist when you brush the bread with truffle oil and then add all the usual toppings like basil, chopped tomatoes, and Parmesan. At Supermarket Italy, we feature black and white truffle oil, which gives you the chance to experiment with different flavors and varieties.
Harvest season is August through October, which makes the pear an ideal ingredient for a seasonal menu. It also pairs well the popular fall spices like cinnamon, star anise, and vanilla. Showcase its delicate and mellow flavor in poached pears, a pear crumble, or warming pear cider. A favorite dessert from Southern Italy, ricotta and pear cake is made with crunchy and buttery hazelnuts, which complement the creamy Italian cheese and fresh fruit flavors.
4. Sweet Potatoes
With pumpkin-like qualities, sweet potatoes transforms into sugary and spicy flavors when cooked or baked, which gives them a comforting and warming quality that’s perfect for fall. You can even incorporate them into a basic homemade pasta recipe for a punch of autumnal flavors. For a tasty and seasonal side dish, sweet potatoes stuffed with fresh herbs and melted mozzarella lends an Italian twist to this favorite fall vegetable.
When you cook with butternut squash, the buttery and slightly sweet flavor of this popular autumnal vegetable adds warmth and complexity to a range of dishes. Cut it into thin spirals and serve it as a healthy replacement to noodles in minestrone, Italy’s favorite soup for autumn or any time of year. Or cut it into cubes and sauté with a tomato sauce, vegetables, and herbs, another popular Italian side dish for the fall holidays.
Crunchy, not too sweet, and flavored with vanilla and almonds, biscotti is a favorite Italian treat to pair with a cup of coffee. The thick crust simply seems to be made for dipping into the froth of a cappuccino or latte, which softens the bite of strong Italian coffee. Hailing from the Tuscan region, this popular Italian cookie can be traced back to Roman times. In fact, it was originally created as a convenience food for travelers and not a treat typically enjoyed by the leisure class. Today, biscotti are the go-to pairing for coffee, especially for those who like their desserts on the not-quite-so-sweet side.
7. Apple Strudel
The fall food season isn’t complete without apples, which are used in a long list of fall desserts. From classic all-American apple pie to spicy and warm apple cider, apple-infused foods are the perfect choice for warming up a chilly autumn evening, especially if you’re getting tired of pumpkin spice everything. In Alto Adige, a region in Northern Italy, apples get an upgrade with apple strudel, a recipe borrowed from the classic Austrian recipe. Golden Delicious apples grown in Trentino, Italy are cooked in cinnamon and sugar and then hidden between two layers of buttery crust.
With a nutty and buttery flavor, hazelnut pairs wonderfully with chocolate and coffee. If you need a break from fall foods with lots of spice, dark chocolate with hazelnuts makes the perfect autumn-inspired indulgence. For an everyday treat with coffee, Nutella is a hazelnut flavored chocolate spread that tastes heavenly on toast, pancakes, or crepes.
If you’ve had your fill of pumpkin spice lattes, the combo of aromatic spices like cardamom, clove, and cinnamon is something you’ve got to “chai!” Chai tea with milk is a creamy drink that’s perfect for warming up chilly fall evenings. Chai flavor also adds a kick of spice to Italian coffee-flavored desserts like tiramisu. Add chai concentrate to a classic Italian recipe, which will enhance the flavors of rum and coffee liqueur in this iconic dessert.
Try adding these essential fall flavors to your favorite Italian dishes and get ready for an autumnal-inspired menu that epitomizes the season.