Fall is in full swing and with it comes fantastic seasonal flavors! Read more on how to get your fix of the autumn’s iconic flavors on an orchard excursion or at a restaurant, shop or brewery near you.
Pumpkin spice season
This übertrendy flavor pops up everywhere these days, but Michigan’s offerings prove especially unique, with pumpkin spice appearing in martinis, craft beer, soup and other fresh finds.
After a show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre, nearby Centaur Bar specializes in martinis. Pumpkin spice, rum and coffee liquor warm tipplers’ cheeks in the two-story lounge. Across town, Germack Pistachio Company roasts pepitas (pumpkin seeds) a few blocks from their Eastern Market store. The third-generation owners recently expanded their operation of nuts and seeds to coffee roasting and hard-to-find spices.
With hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and toasted walnuts, the seasonal pumpkin muffins at Zingerman’s Bakehouse in Ann Arbor rank as a staff favorite. Store associates wear vintage aprons and pearls at Sweetie-licious Bakery and Cafe in Dewitt (and Grand Rapids). The family recipe behind Mommy’s Pumpkin Pie inspires a buttery crust and creamy, spiced pumpkin filling.
Four types of pumpkin ice cream—cinnamon pumpkin crisp, pumpkin chip, pumpkin roll and, for the purist, plain pumpkin—draw pumpkin spice-lovers to Moomers Homemade Ice Cream in Traverse City. And the 1950s-theme House of Flavors churns out seasonal pumpkin pie ice cream in Ludington.
Crunchy pralines complement pumpkin cheesecake at The Underground Cheesecake Company in Traverse City. Hearty pumpkin cake doughnuts fill cases at Cops and Doughnuts, a police-owned bakery in Clare since 1896 (through a name and ownership change). Pumpkin seed salsa sold by American Spoon in Petoskey adds zest to chicken tacos.
Pumpkin spice goes boozy at a number of craft breweries, including the coffee-spiked Pumpkin Spice Latte, an ale at Detroit’s Atwater Brewery, the British-inspired Jaw- Jacker Pumpkin Spiced Ale at Battle Creek’s Arcadia Brewing Company and Ichabod, made with pumpkin, nutmeg and cinnamon, served seasonally at New Holland Brewing.
It’s easy to get the ripest, crispest, sweetest and tartest apples. Just stop at any of the too-many-to-count fruit stands and farm markets that spring up from the 850 family-owned farms growing apples in Michigan.
The orchards of the state’s southwest corner draw visitors year-round, but fall brings the experience to fruition. Purchase a peck or two of Gala, McIntosh and Honeycrisp apples, or pick some at Crane’s Pie Pantry Restaurant and Winery and U-Pick farm in Fennville. Standing amid 100 acres of sweet-scented fruit trees with roots back to 1916, visitors wander the grounds painted in fall colors and sample treats, including apple pie, apple crisp and apple cider doughnuts.
In downtown Fennville, more flavors come into play at the rustic eatery Salt of the Earth, starring vegetables, meats, berries and fruits from the local landscape. Less than 5 miles away, Virtue Farm crafts Virtue Cider from Michigan apples.
The fifth generation is still growing apples (and peaches and cherries) at Fruit Acres Farm Market and U-Pick, a Coloma farm established in 1846. A half-mile south, sip on fresh-pressed cider at Grandpa’s Cider Mill.
Check out the Pure Michigan Fall Travel Guide for more great seasonal travel ideas.
Where’s your favorite spot to enjoy the flavors of fall? Let us know in the comments!