The leaves have taken on a crimson hue in New England, and that means one thing — fall food season has arrived. New England’s autumn bounty is impressive – from supermarket staples like apples and pumpkins, to the curious cranberry. There’s plenty of sweet and savory to chew on.
In pop culture, many of these fall foodstuffs are associated with the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, their first fall meal was hardly Yelp-worthy. Aside from corn, most of our modern-day fall favorites have roots in the Old World.
Apples may be the quintessential fall icon in New England, but don’t be fooled, they are an import. The first apples trees were likely brought over by the settlers of Jamestown, and other varieties made their way across the ocean over the next 200 years. That all-American apple pie? It came from the Brits. So let’s thank our British ancestors for the 19 pounds (pers person) of apples that Americans consume every year.
- This Alton Brown apple pie recipe is spot-on for the crust, but I’m a little more traditional with the filling, using lemon (instead of lime) and plenty of cinnamon.
- Try using boiled cider for a stronger apple flavor in cider doughnuts.
There are plenty of acceptable uses for the cranberry, but won’t you all stop buying that thing in a can? Here’s what you should make, instead:
- A cranberry cocktail is an easy way to use up fresh cranberries. I swap out the vodka for gin.
- These cranberry scones use fresh, instead of dried cranberries.
- Why not try cranberry chutney instead of store-bought jelly?
Molasses is not exactly a local product. We don’t grow the sugarcane that gets processed into molasses, but it has a storied past in these parts, where, as part of the abominable Triangle Trade, New Englanders embraced the syrup to sweeten foods and brew rum. We even survived a great molasses flood in Boston in 1919.
- Brown bread makes for tasty morning toast, and this recipe is from a fave local restaurant.
- I may be a chocoholic, but never turn down molasses cookies.
- Is there a more stereotypical New England meal than Boston baked beans? Salt pork gives it a porky flavor without the smoke.
Pumpkins have a lot more potential than pie filling, easily used in sweet or savory dishes.
- Because what’s better on a cold night than hot pumpkin ravioli?
- I love pumpkin bread, but most recipes have at least a full cup of oil, here’s one that uses much less. Tip: for most quick bread recipes, you can use ½ cup of oil and ½ cup of applesauce to substitute for the full cup of oil and never know the difference.
- And of course, there’s pie. Here’s one with spicy, Middle-Eastern inspired flavors that goes far beyond the Libby’s recipe.
Corn often gets delegated to side-dish territory, but maize can do more than fill up a casserole dish.
- Having called Rhode Island my home for nearly a decade, I learned to love the johnny cake.
- This corn chowder recipe can easily be made vegetarian with veggie stock instead of chicken stock.
- Homemade popcorn is a lost art. Follow these tips for a batch that will ensure you never go back to the microwave bags, again.