New Traditions of Non-Traditional Fall Foods

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New Traditions of Non-Traditional Fall Foods

Art Courtesy of Sophie Pederson

Art Courtesy of Sophie Pederson

Art Courtesy of Sophie Pederson

Kerrera Jackson, Staff Writer

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With fall underway, the staple comfort foods of this time of the year come along with the shorter days and cooler temperatures. When autumn comes around, we immediately think of pumpkins, turkey, and stuffing.

 “Certain foods are more common during certain seasons and are offered at a more affordable price point, which leads us to incorporate specific foods in certain holidays/seasons/ times of the year,” explains Lauren Olsen, a culinary teacher here at Minnetonka.

While these kinds of food are good, they can get boring after eating them year after year. With the same thing every season, more interesting items should be considered by the whole country, not just the adventuresome few.

While many don’t think of seafood when they picture the cool air and tumbling leaves of autumn, many seafood dishes are actually in season. One of these great dishes is a seafood stew, Cioppino. This meal is prepared with primarily clams and mussels, as now is the best season for obtaining those ingredients. Scallops and lobster are added to this warm seafood dish, making it a truly fall-centric meal.

Although Americanized dishes create a traditional fall atmosphere, many other cultures have a much different view of “traditional” autumn foods. For example, one main autumn dish for Indian culture is Goat Curry. Goat Curry is made with a thick, spicy curry paste and a side of traditional Raita which is made of yogurt and usually contains chopped cucumbers.

Also, certain Russian foods are eaten around this time of year in these ethnic households.

“Around Thanksgiving, my family eats caviar. We are Russian, and, in those traditions, caviar is served on special occasions. It is served on buttered bread as mainly a large appetizer. Russians also eat cow tongue a lot, and mostly during the fall we eat that, whenever my grandma comes over. Finally, around fall and Thanksgiving time, we eat duck instead of turkey,” said Angelica Ginzburg, ‘22.

Even if the staple fall foods hold a special place in your heart, there are many ways to make them unique and stand out against the rest.

 “Some different things that could be done to make traditional foods stand out are serving traditional dishes with different presentation. Our family has started a tradition of a turkey meatloaf with a gravy reduction and stuffing muffins. We also tried a turducken once- we decided to never do that again. Not everything always works out. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to traditional dishes and make them your own,” said Olsen.

For example, a stuffing made with kale, mushrooms, mozzarella, and sourdough bread would make this traditional dish not only healthier, but would make the taste fresher, and would be very different from what we’re used to. A pumpkin pie pudding would also offer a yummy twist on a classic fall item. Another tasty choice is a pumpkin mac and cheese with flavorful chunks of pumpkin, sautéed apples, crispy bacon bits, and Swiss chard that would create a classic autumn flavor with unique elements.

While trying new things might feel scary, especially when it comes to switching up traditions, it’s worth it. It is great to diversify your palette and move out of your comfort zone. Who knows, you could start new traditions with these non-traditional foods.  

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