For many people, fall is their favorite time of year. The cooler temperatures, the crisp fall air, not to mention delicious fall comfort foods like slow cooker pulled pork, lamb kofta, chicken scallopine with saffron cream sauce or saffron risotto with butternut squash. And who could forget dessert— Saffron cream cheese brownies anyone? What sets fall apart from all of the other seasons are its rich, full bodied flavors. Here are eleven spices and seasonings perfect for all of your fall cooking and baking:
Allspice is a dried unripe fruit with an aroma and flavor profile that is similar to a blend of three main spices, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Available in whole or ground, allspice compliments roasted carrots, pork, poultry, stews, and is often used in mulling spices.
Kitchen Cooking Tip: If you don’t have allspice on hand, simply combine ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon of ground cloves, and ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg. Viola! Allspice.
A staple in Indian cuisine, cardamom is a warm and aromatic spice that is most flavorful in baked goods like gingerbread and shortbread. Made from the seeds of several plants in the genera Elettaria and Amomum in the family Zingiberaceae, cardamom pairs well with saffron, cinnamon, chocolate, and cloves.
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several tree species from the genus Cinnamomum, hence the name, cinnamon. With a mildly sweet flavor, cinnamon is a great addition to baked goods like coffee cakes, cookies, and crumbles. Cinnamon can also be paired with beef, curries, oatmeal, pork, and stews.
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a tree indigenous to the Maluka Islands in Indonesia. These flower buds embody the flavors of fall and can be considered the jack of all trades when it comes to spicing things up when cooking. Cloves pair well with an array of foods including carrots, chocolate, fruit, onions, potatoes and sweet breads. Like we said, jack of all trades!
Cumin is a spice that can be used any time of year, but we enjoy using it most in the fall season to add a bold and distinct taste to homemade chilis, soups and stews. Cumin comes from the seeds of a fruit found in the Middle East. These seeds are then removed and dried out to create the spice we know and love, cumin! Cumin can also be used in whole or ground form.
Ginger is a flowering plant whose root is used as a popular fall spice. This spice possesses a pungent flavor, which adds zest to both sweet and savory dishes. Easily incorporated into baked goods (hello gingerbread), ginger can also be added to curries, hot teas, seafood, and stir-fries. Ginger particularly pairs well with another herb, garlic.
7. Mulling Spice
Mulling spice is a spice mixture containing a complex blend of warm, sweet, and peppery flavors with a blend of citrus notes—perfect for the coldest of fall nights. Most commonly, mulling spice is used to "spice" hot cidar, wines, and other juices during the colder seasons, but that does not limit its scope! Check out these innovative ways to use the spice blend in more than just beverages at Bon Appetit.
With so many ways to use mulling spice, pick up one of your own here!
Nutmeg is the seed from a dark-leaved evergreen tree, which is also cultivated for mace. The sweet and spicy flavoring of nutmeg enhances baked goods like pies, sauces and vegetables, such as spinach and squash. Although nutmeg can be purchased whole ground, it is best enjoyed when freshly grated, which gives an added touch of warmth to any dish.
9. Pumpkin Pie Spice
Nothing says fall more than pumpkin pie spice. A blend of allspice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace and nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice pairs well with baked goods like breads, cookies, muffins and of course, pie.
Kitchen Cooking Tip: If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice on hand, simply combine ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon of ground ginger + ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg + ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves or allspice.
Saffron, the Queen of All Spices, is harvested from the stigma of the Crocus flower and has a sweet, floral taste. It’s earthy and has a complex nuanced flavor and pairs well with a variety of dishes. Here are some of our favorite saffron recipes.
11. Star Anise
Star Anise is the fruit from an evergreen tree native to southern China and it gives a subtle hint of licorice flavor to baked goods, braised meats, sauces, soups and stews.
As you enjoy the fall season this year, remember to incorporate these eleven fall flavors when cooking and baking all of your favorite fall dishes!
Shop a few of the spices mentioned above like saffron and traditional mulling spice here:
Remember to tag us @Rumi_Spice so we can see all of your delicious culinary creations using these eleven fall flavors.