With the fall season quickly approaching, many produce departments are growing closer to making several changes, including the addition of several showcased items. Ranging from both fruits and vegetables, fall is defined by these unique produce foods as they are included in seasonal recipes and decor.
I previously explored several popular fall produce items in a previous blog, but here are a few more of the season’s biggest favorites.
As one of fall’s biggest “poster foods,” Squash holds the distinction of being both a decorative fall image and a key ingredient in many seasonal recipes — especially those related to the endless varieties of spaghetti squash. Fall stands as a great harvesting period for squash, as it occurs during the tail end of summer squash season (which ends in October) and the beginning of winter squash season (which begins around the same time). Therefore, it is no surprise that the gourds have solidified a fall niche amidst this important transitional phase.
Cabbage is a popular fall produce item thanks to its standalone offerings and its familial ties to other trendy seasonal foods — namely kale and brussel sprouts. The vegetable is a “work horse,” of sorts, in the sense that it brings a fair amount of versatility and variety to the recipe table; it spans a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes — though the most popular variety in the US is Dutch cabbage, a variation featuring purple or green heads which vary, themselves, in size and shape. Popular cold season uses of cabbage include coleslaw and sauerkraut.
Grapes may not always be a go-to fruit during fall activities — apples and pears tend to hold much of the popularity — but they thrive during the late summer and early fall months. As a result, they tend to find their way into fall tradition in the form of wine, spices and oils, jams and jellies, and raisins (which subsequently find their way into common fall baking recipes like oatmeal raisin cookies). With this notion in mind, these bite-sized fruits are arguably one of fall’s most crucial harvested foods — though their contributions to seasonal feasts are not as direct as their contemporaries.
A sacred fruit in several ancient religions, pomegranate are regarded for both their recently discovered health benefits and their use in recipes ranging from Mediterranean dishes to stews and fruit tarts. The fruit contains a fair amount of antioxidants and is linked to a reduction in risk for cardiovascular complications. The deseeding process can be a drawn-out affair (though there are numerous ways to approach it), but it is well worth the hassle.