Pumpkin (fill in the blank) season has begun

pumpkin food composite

By Casey Normile

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

Vero Pumpkin Latte.jpg

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.

Pumpkin Ale

browns pumpkin ale labelEveryone 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

Pumpkin ice cream.jpg

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

Pumpkin cheesecake side.jpg

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

Comments

Let me add that if you are cooking up pumpkin for pie or pumpkin bread, put some aside for your dog. Dogs love cooked pumpkin (or other winter squash) and it's really good for their digestion. Add a tablespoon or two of plain mashed pumpkin to their food, depending on size of dog.

Speaking of things you can only get during fall, can I get an AOA article devoted to grocery store locations where you can find the Halloween Monster Cereals?

The season and my stomach say it's time for some Frankenberry, but all the Hannafords are saying no.

I am quite sure that I saw the Frankenberry cereals on an endcap display in the Walmart at Crossgates Commons just this past week.

Great post! I'm totally craving that pumpkin spice ice cream now. I did a post on local(ish) pumpkin beers to continue on your theme, if you'd like to take a look.

Happy pumpkin season!

Ohh man, I'm going to have to try that latte from Caffe Vero.

Great to learn about some local pumpkin offerings.

I've never been to Cafe Vero - that latte sounds amazing. I wish more places would use real food rather than those terribly sweet syrups.

Yes, the Monster cereals are out! Walgreens in Colonie (corner of New Karner Rd and Route 5) have them. My fiance was super-excited about having Boo Berry again!

@Barry - I saw the full line at the Colonie Target today. Happy eating.

Aww, nostalgia. I miss pumpkin flavoured things at this time of year. What I wouldn't give for a Brown's Pumpkin Ale. Think they'll ship to Melbourne? ;-)
It's a fantastic beer, highly recommended.

We've running Pumpkin Maple Cinnamon Buns (and Apple Butter Buns with Honeycrisps from Kristy's Barn) this season (avail at the shop and Sat. Delmar FM). We're going to make Pumpkin Muffins all week too (my mom's recipe, one of my faves from childhood!). We got a whole bushel of the sugar pies from Farmer Jon's so expect more pumpkin goodness in the menu somewhere!

Last week I stopped by X's to O's Bakery and they had pumpkin bisque, gluten free pumpkin cheesecake brownies, gluten free pumpkin whoopie pies, and gluten free pumpkin pie donuts. I ate so much I thought i turned orange. :)

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