Human Interest

Human Interest

Human Interest

Fall seems to arrive earlier every year. Coffee shops like Starbucks now introduce their autumn-themed drinks as early as August, and stores swiftly stock their shelves with Halloween decorations.

When we think of fall flavors, pumpkin spice often comes to mind. Many of us are aware that pumpkin spice isn’t actually derived from pumpkins. A pumpkin is a squash that has a distinct taste far from the combination of cinnamon and syrup. Pumpkin spice is just a mix of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves.

While this spice blend lends its flavor to a wide range of products, including lattes, cereal, pretzels, donuts, gum, and more, it’s worth mentioning that not all people prefer it. In fact, there exists a Reddit thread specifically devoted to discussing the dislike of pumpkin spice-flavored items. A commenter expressed, “I’m in the hate pumpkin spice camp as well. It absolutely takes over the dairy aisle in the stores to the point of not carrying my usual products.” Another Redditor added their thoughts with, “Every season they hardcore promote pumpkin spice everything to kick off fall, and I hate it. It doesn’t even smell that good.”

Besides the popular pumpkin spice latte, there’s a wide variety of seasonal ingredients that contribute to the special taste of autumn, whether you’re preparing your own homemade treats or enjoying comforting dishes. These flavors range from the components in traditional apple pie recipes to the aromatic spices found in typical autumn soups, all representing the essence of the season’s most cherished foods. Who knows, maybe down the road, we’ll be as crazy about apples or cinnamon as we are about pumpkin spice.

If you’re looking to step away from the pumpkin spice trend or simply want to savor a wider range of fall flavors, take a peek at these other flavors that scream “autumn.”

  • Apples

    Apples and the fall season are often linked and commonly used in Halloween activities and various desserts. When autumn rolls around, apples ripen into those sweet goodies people adore, making them the stars of the show in loads of fall recipes, from apple crumble cakes to good old apple pies. And let’s not overlook the classic favorites of apple cider and cider donuts.

    A wooden basket with fresh, red, delicious apples on a rustic wooden table. In front of autumn landscape in the background with autumn leaves. Light and sun.

    DRubi/ Getty Images

  • Cinnamon

    Cinnamon has the perfect Fall vibe, especially when you mix it with classics like apple, sugar, or vanilla. While it enhances the taste of traditional autumn recipes, cinnamon can also stand on its own. This sweet spice is like the secret ingredient for giving your treats that homemade autumn taste. So, whether you’re spicing up your morning joe, cookie dough, or even a hearty stew, just a dash of cinnamon will cozy up your recipe game.

    Hands with cup of tea with cinnamon and anise, autumn decorations and candles. Top view hands with tea, flat lay, autumn concept

    Natureveryday/ Getty Images

  • Caramel

    Caramel is a go-to sweet treat when the weather gets cooler. You can just drizzle it over almost anything baked, whether it’s warm apple crisp or a big scoop of ice cream. And if you’re feeling fancy, a pinch of sea salt can take it up a notch. It’s a perfect match for Fall classics like apples, ice cream, or brownies.

    Delicious candies with caramel sauce and sea salt isolated on a white background

    domnicky/ Getty Images

  • Maple

    Incorporating a touch of maple can infuse your dish with an ideal blend of sweetness and earthiness. This delightful maple essence works wonders in desserts such as maple buttercream frosting, maple cookies, and even pumpkin pie. It also shines in savory dishes like maple bacon, maple-glazed salmon, and chipotle maple chicken wings.

    Bottles and jars of tasty maple syrup on wooden table

    Liudmila Chernetska/ Getty Images

  • Almond

    Almonds are another fall favorite. They add a cozy, nutty taste to both sweet and savory dishes, like almond cake with chai or salads with autumn fruits and veggies. They make everything from pumpkin pies to roasted Brussels sprouts even more delicious. So, this Fall, remember that almonds are one the flavors of the season.

    Raw almonds spilling out of small glass bowl

    Elenathewise/ Getty Images

  • Pecan

    Pecans are a prized autumn nut, celebrated for their sweet, buttery flavor and satisfying crunch. Pecan pies, pecan bars, and candied pecans are just a few examples of how these nuts are featured in Fall desserts. Their distinct taste and texture make them a must-have during holiday gatherings.

    Autumn pecan pie, overhead table scene with cut slice on a rustic wood background

    jenifoto/ Getty Images

  • Sweet Potato

    Sweet potatoes are a beloved Fall ingredient, known for their earthy sweetness and versatility. They take center stage in classic dishes like sweet potato casserole and sweet potato fries. Packed with nutrients, they offer comfort and wholesomeness in every bite, making them a staple of Fall meals.

    sweet potato soup

    margouillatphotos/ Getty Images

  • Cranberry

    Known for their tartness and vibrant red color, cranberries bring a zesty kick to Fall meals. Whether in the form of cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving or dried cranberries in salads, they add a burst of flavor that balances the richness of other fall dishes. Cranberries are a nod to the season’s crispness and festivity.

    Homemade Festive Cranberry Bread with Fresh Berries

    bhofack2/ Getty Images

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