Eating fall foods in the fall used to be something that required little thinking. We ate seasonally because we had to—food was grown and sold close to home, limiting our options to what was harvested from the farm down the road. And though modern food processing and distribution have made finding a summer strawberry in November pretty easy to do, everyday chefs and restaurant cooks alike are reaching more and more for pumpkins, figs and other fall foods to be the stars of their autumn dishes.
Choosing seasonal fruits and vegetables ensures that produce is at peak ripeness and packs the most nutrients and flavor. It is also a green choice: Locally-grown produce requires less transportation, causing less of an impact on the environment. Another bonus? Since it’s so readily available, in-season produce is affordable—farmers and grocers have lots of it, and they want to be sure to sell it to you before it goes bad.