'Tis the season for change

 Beef carbonnade from Saveur magazine

Eating seasonally didn't used to be a conscious decision - the food on one's plate was almost all local, so one naturally followed the seasons when preparing meals. In the era of supermarket produce flown in from all points, however, eating with the seasons has been become a choice rather than a necessity. Yet people who love food still embrace the first fresh asparagus and peas in the spring and relish the first cool fall day for putting their Dutch oven to work with a long braise featuring a hunk of meat paired with root vegetables. 

Perhaps it's human nature that draws us to anticipate the foods of the upcoming season, although it seems that fall and spring seem to be more anticipated by cooks than summer and winter (although this could be personal preference clouding my observations). Here in the Upper Midwest, the nights have become longer and there is a distinct crispness in the air; in the Southern Hemisphere no doubt people are welcoming a warming trend. 

As the calendar pages turn, newsfeeds brim with favorite spring and fall recipes, just in case you have forgotten what you love about the upcoming season's weather. Australian Gourmet Traveller offers its top 20 most popular spring recipes, while Saveur dishes up 15 fall favorites to make when the first chill is in the air. The Huffington Post goes one further and ranks its top 22 favorite fall foods.

It seems that every menu in the US now contains pumpkin, from the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte (that usually has no pumpkin in it), to soups, pies, and desserts that contain actual pumpkin. Or do they? As Epicurious explains, that can of pumpkin on the shelf may not be pumpkin after all

Fall is my favorite culinary season. I enjoy the chilly mornings and evenings with my favorite stews and braises, like the Flemish beef and beer stew (Carbonnade) from  Saveur Magazine pictured above. My husband eagerly anticipates an apple pie made from local Haralson apples. What's your favorite season and seasonal recipe?


  • Jane  on  9/17/2016 at 12:14 PM

    Not sure I have a favorite season for food, they all have their merits, but I recently made one of my favorite early fall recipes - Fresh corn polenta with roasted ratatouille and ricotta from one of my favorite cookbooks, Cook This Now by Melissa Clark. From the same book I also like for this time of year Roasted acorn squash, honey, smoked paprika, and sage salt. Another repeat in fall is Roasted butternut squash & red onion with tahini & za'atar from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi & Tamimi.

  • Rinshin  on  9/17/2016 at 12:47 PM

    I eagerly wait for Oct/Nov to roll in for my favorite foods to appear. Dungeness crab. Most seafood is best in colder season. Then in March-May, I drive to buy farm fresh artichokes of all different sizes to carry me through the season.

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