Falling back on seasonal flavors

Ah fall, a time of falling leaves and colder weather. Yet, my favorite part of this autumnal season is neither of those things: my favorite part is the food.

Every season has special flavors, but it is fall that steals my heart. Who can resist the taste of caramel and apple? Butternut squash? Gingerbread? And of course who can forget pumpkin. It has become a cliche now, pumpkin flavored everything lining the shelves in every store you can think of, but I love it. The sweet creamy taste that only comes from chowing down on pumpkin bread creates a warmth that nothing else can.

September to November, possibly three of my favorite months, is a time of coveted foods only available from the fall harvest. Squashes, apples and pears are really only good this time of year, and can be eaten fresh, cooked, in salads: any way! And when restaurants find a way to integrate these fresh, nostalgic flavors, it makes my heart as warm as the heater needed on a cold fall day.

However, it is when restaurants butcher these beautiful flavors that I have problem. A prime example: the Pumpkin Spice Latte, AKA the PSL. It has sparked controversy among coffee-loving Americans everywhere since debuted, and while I love both pumpkin and Starbucks, I can’t bring myself to love them combined (the drink is disgusting).

Any time I see a seasonal menu, I get my hopes up for a delicious treat that tastes like the season around me, so the food better not let me down. When I see fall, I expect to taste fall.

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