It's everybody's favorite season!
No, not fall -- pumpkin season.
It seems that as soon as the air gets a chill, we begin to see pumpkin everything -- breads, pies, soups, ice creams, beer. You can't toss a gourd without hitting something made with pumpkin. So, what to try first?
Here are some favorites to maximize your pumpkin enjoyment this fall.
Café Vero's Pumpkin Latte
Why does Café Vero's latte stand out? Two words: pumpkin puree. Vero uses real pumpkin in its lattes. If you're a fan of Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts pumpkin spice lattes or coffees, this is different -- but in a good way. Because of the puree, Vero's latte is less sweet and closer to the actual taste of pumpkin. It has just enough sweetness without tasting artificial. Add that to Café Vero's latte-making ability and you have yourself a warm cup of autumn.
Everyone has his or her favorite pumpkin ale. It's a personal decision that everyone has to make on his or her own. But if you're looking to try two unique local brews, Brown's in Troy is debuting its popular Pumpkin Ale on October 1. The brew, made with local pumpkins, is a rich malty beer with a hint of orange. It is a fan favorite and goes pretty fast, so don't wait until Halloween to try it.
And if you're thinking that just one pumpkin ale isn't enough, Crossroads Brewery in Athens is debuting three different pumpkin ales this season:
+ Dr. Loomis, a spicy medium-bodied ale, is available now
+ FrankenStout, a pumpkin stour dry-hopped with vanilla beans, is available in late September
+ and Father Merrin, a light pumpkin beer with ginger is available in the beginning of October
Pumpkin Spice Ice Cream, Adirondack Creamery
We've mentioned this pumpkin pie ice cream from the Adirondack Creamery before -- it's a mild pumpkin ice cream that is both all natural and not neon orange. It's not as sugary as, say, Edy's pumpkin ice cream, but it actually tastes like pumpkin. The flavor will definitely still satisfy your fall craving.
Another plus is that you know what you're eating. Not only is it made with local milk, but the ingredients list is made up of completely identifiable and pronounceable things: cream, milk, cane sugar, skim milk powder, egg yolks, pumpkin, pure vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.
You can find it starting this week at locations such as the Honest Weight Food Co-op, the Niskayuna Co-op, and Shop Rite.
Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake, Cheesecake Machismo
You may be thinking "pumpkin cheesecake is just intrinsically delicious," and you may be right. But I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so I wasn't too sure I'd like this dessert.
Cheesecake Machismo's creation stands out. The pumpkin flavor is given a little sugar kick with the caramel topping, which also breaks up the creamy cake a little bit... making it easier to eat a whole piece in 2 minutes. It's hard to go wrong when choosing a pumpkin cheesecake, but the small addition of caramel on this pie is good.
As a side note, I also like the fact that Machismo makes the dessert process so easy. If you're looking for something quick after dinner, you can stop over to Hamilton Street and have a slice of cheesecake with a plastic fork to-go in under 5 minutes. Just as easy -- and less messy -- than an ice cream cone.
pumpkin photo: Bennett Campbell
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