Fall has always been the favorite season of writers. There’s Keats’s Ode to Autumn and Fitzgerald’s famous line in The Great Gatsby: “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” To Albert Camus, fall seems “a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” In Anne of Green Gables, everyone’s favorite crimson-haired heroine says, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
Fall is the favorite season of many eaters and drinkers, too (present company included). There’s a certain culinary magic when the air grows crisp, bathing suit season retreats and pumpkin spice emerges. Suddenly the same corn we enjoyed all summer — either on the cob or in salads with diced bell peppers and avocado — is presented to us roasted. With butter. Generally beside an apple orchard. The air is cool and we’re covered in plaid and, yes, we’re so glad we live in a world where there are Octobers, but we’re especially glad that we live on an island that does fall quite so well as this.
Wherever you are on Long Island — Nassau or Suffolk, North Fork or South Fork — you don’t have to travel far to enjoy the flavors of fall. All you need is a bucket list.
Here’s 11 things you need to eat and drink this fall.
The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin has come a long way, baby. Once relegated to the porch for decorative purposes, the cheese pumpkin has reclaimed its crown in the kitchen. If you haven’t tried a pumpkin pie made with the Long Island native, you’re really missing out. Bake your own using our recipe.
Jericho Cider Mill is a Long Island institution. It’s as T.W. Barritt wrote for us back in 2013: “Some might look to the leaves for signs of fall. But for many, the true harbinger of autumn on Long Island is when the cars queue up at the historic Jericho Cider Mill on Route 106 to purchase apples, homemade pies and the mill’s signature freshly pressed cider.”
Who makes the best cider doughnuts on Long Island? That’s kind of like asking, “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?” It’s a difficult question — and it’s one that will elicit a number of different answers. Here’s ours: Wickham’s Fruit Farm in Cutchogue. Eat ’em and weep.
Have you tried Twin Stills Moonshine yet? If not, now’s the perfect time. Their Apple Pie Moonshine is essentially fall in a shot glass. Without it, no fall flavor bucket list is complete.
Pumpkin season is in full (and tasty) effect at Huntington’s Honu Kitchen & Cocktails. Pair their pumpkin ravioli with their Witches’ Cider cocktail. Made with rum, local apple cider, and sage roasted pumpkin, this cocktail is so good you’ll be incredulous. Like, “Witch, please.”
Is there anything better than a crisp apple covered in caramel? We think not. At Harbes, they’re made with apples from the farm’s own orchard. You can’t get any closer — or delicious — than that.
Briermere Farms is an institution — and for good reason. Their pies are out of this world. Head over to their historic farm stand on Sound Avenue and your most difficult challenge of the day will be choosing which pie to leave with. No one will judge you if you’re unable to pick and buy two or three or twelve.
8. Every Fall-Inspired Local Beer on This List (But Not All at Once)
We happily drink local beer all year long, but our breweries have really outdone themselves this season. From chocolate porters to pumpkin ales, our brewers have really pushed the envelope — or, y’know, the keg.
To do October right, you have to do Oktoberfest — and no one does it better than Plattduetsche Park. This Franklin Square institution is a carnivore’s sweetest dream and a vegetarian’s wurst nightmare (get it?). Of course we’re just kidding; there’s plenty of German fare for all at Plattduetsche Park. You can never go wrong with one of their famous pretzels.
10. Cabernet Franc from Any of the Local Wineries (But Not All at Once)
We said yes way to rosé all summer. Fall says, “Baby, it’s time to reunite with reds.” Cabernet Franc—dubbed “Long Island’s Bad Ass Grape” by Richard Olsen-Harbich, winemaker at Bedell Cellars—is the perfect red for the job.
There’s nothing better than an ear of corn slathered with butter, served hot in a little cocoon of aluminum foil. Head over to Lewin Farms for some apple-picking — always a strenuous job — and reward yourself afterwards with some roasted corn.
What else are you looking forward to eating and drinking this month? Let us know in the comments!