Today’s post is from guest blogger Elizabeth Myers, from the local blog Epicurious Louisville.
You know it is autumn when your neighbors cover their stoops in carved pumpkins, your friends clutter your Instagram feed with glamour shots of the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte and you can’t find a candle in the store that isn’t white chocolate pumpkin or pumpkin donut. You may be tempted to eschew the autumn staple, but do not fight the pumpkin craze, embrace it! Pumpkin is an incredibly magical food; everything it touches is delicious.
Pumpkin Donuts from Nord’s, Plehn’s, and The Amazing Glaze (Greenville, IN)
Pumpkin translates particularly well to the donut. The fluffy, moist pulp is ideal for making pastries tender. All three bakeries glaze their pumpkin donuts, but Nord’s bakery heaps the icing up a little more, making the treat perfect for dunking in hot black coffee.
Pumpkin Ice Cream from The Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen, the Comfy Cow, and Graeter’s
Pumpkin ice cream is fabulous covered in roasted pecans and caramel syrup, or just piled atop a cone. Licking those chilled scoops feel like taking an early morning walk through a pumpkin patch, smelling burning leaves and cuddling into your favorite sweater.
Pumpkin Butter from Huber’s, Earth Fare or Whole Foods
Pumpkin Butter is very hard to make yourself (it’s so heavy the cans often won’t seal properly,) but you can buy the spread at local health food stores or make a trip to Huber’s in Southern Indiana. Pumpkin butter is a revelation on a flaky, hot biscuit.
Pumpkin Ravioli from Lotsa Pasta
Incredible with a vodka sauce and some shreds of Parmigiano-Reggiano, pumpkin’s milder flavor and yielding texture synchronize in this wonderful ravioli. The actual pumpkin flavor in the pasta is not very strong, so don’t drown it in spicy or acidic sauces.
Pumpkin Soup from Proof on Main
Pumpkin soup showcases the nuttier essence of the squash. Proof’s pumpkin soup has pomegranate, redhawk crouton, Belgian ale and blood orange oil. Proof on Main is excellent at combining the exotic (blood orange oil!) with the everyday, and this soup is no exception.
Pumpkin Seed Chips from Fresh Market
Yes, Pringles made a pumpkin spice flavored chip, but these Pumpkin Seed Tortilla Chips from Fresh Market are so much better. While a sweet chip is slightly disconcerting, the extra, heartier crunch provided by the seeds is satisfying.
Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Sunergos, Please and Thank You, Quills and Toast
The Starbucks version of the pumpkin spice latte is kind of like the Britney Spears of the latte world: sugary, over processed, and without depth. Support local coffee houses like Quills, Sunergos, and Please and Thank You, who will not only give you a fresher, brighter latte, but will also decorate it with latte art.
Pumpkin Beer from Zanzabar, The Holy Grale, The Four Pegs, Nach Bar and Whole Foods
The Holy Grale has Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere and Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale on tap, along with bottles of Dogfishhead Punkin Ale. Many other bars that pride themselves on providing craft beers will certainly have pumpkin beers; The Four Pegs, Zanzabar and Nach Bar, to name a few. If you prefer to drink your beer at home, Whole Foods has Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale.
Pumpkin Soda from Earth Fare
Not interested in the buzz of caffeine or alcohol? You can get pumpkin pie soda from Earth Fare. Wouldn’t this be just divine poured over a scoop of butter pecan ice cream, or served with a slice of apple cake?
Big thank you to Elizabeth for compiling all of these local pumpkin favorites. It’s a hard job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Elizabeth Myers is a freelance writer and food critic who lives with her brand new husband on a little farm in Greenville. She loves the Louisville food scene, long distance biking, and writing marginally terrible poetry. Elizabeth blogs at epicuriouslouisville.tumblr.