Fall time is here and leaves are crunching on the ground. With the start of fall comes many delicious and traditional fall flavors. Fruits like apples, pears and pumpkins are harvested traditionally during autumn. Maple trees produce their sap in the spring, despite being a popular fall flavor alongside other traditional fall favorites like cinnamon and caramel. Pumpkin spice has its place in favorite fall flavors, but what about all of the other wonderful flavors of fall?
The science of growing apples is called pomology. Apples can come in red, yellow, green, orange or anywhere in between. To produce one apple, it takes the energy of 50 leaves. Apples ripen much faster at room temperature than in the fridge. So if you want to preserve your apple, be sure to place it in the fridge. One in every four apples grown in America are exported for sale to a different country.
Apples account for 50% of the world’s deciduous fruit tree production. A deciduous tree is a tree that loses all of their leaves once a year. Other deciduous fruit trees are peaches and pears.
Caramel is a thick sweet liquid made from melting sugar. Caramel can be made with or without a liquid added, but with added water is easier. The texture and hardness of the caramel change depending on the temperature the caramel was cooked at. For a hard brittle, caramel needs to be cooked around 320 degrees fahrenheit. At a low temperature of 215 degrees Fahrenheit, a caramel syrup will form. The easiest way to clean out a pot after making caramel is to boil water in the pot afterwards to melt the remaining caramel.
Pumpkins are a super popular fall flavor! From pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, to jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins are everywhere once fall begins. Last year on Cozy Rainbow, we talked about the largest pumpkin ever grown– it was bigger than a car! In the state of Nevada, pumpkins are grown in a town called Mesquite, outside of Las Vegas.
Have you ever wondered what the “spice” is in pumpkin spice? A traditional pumpkin spice is a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger. Despite the name, pumpkin spice traditionally does not have pumpkin in it. The spice blend is more like a spice to be used with a pumpkin, but does not include pumpkin itself.
Depending on the cook, pumpkin spice may also include allspice, which you might think is a combination of all spices. Allspice is a species made of dried peppercorn-looking berries from a plant called Pimenta dioica.
Cinnamon is a standout spice when it comes to fall cooking! Cinnamon goes perfectly with apple pie, bread, oatmeal, lattes, and ground beef. Traditionally coming from Sri Lanka and Southern India in warmer, wetter climates, cinnamon can be used in savory dishes too! One unique dish that uses ground beef seasoned with cinnamon is Lebanese Hushwee from Lebanon.
Did you know there are four different types of cinnamon? The four types of cinnamon are Ceylon, Korintje, Saigon and Royal.
Ceylon cinnamon is considered to be true cinnamon, from Sri Lanka and Southern India. Ceylon cinnamon can also grow in Mexico and East Africa. Korintje cinnamon is Indonesian and is the most popular type found in America. Saigon cinnamon is the most sweet, and comes from Southeast Asia. Saigon cinnamon is not from the city of Saigon in Vietnam, but received its name from being traded in Saigon. Royal cinnamon is the rarest kind, and has the most potent taste.
Surprisingly, cinnamon trees can be kept as a houseplant and will give off a fragrant smell. Cinnamon’s delightful, fragrant oils and foliage are one reason why candle and soap makers often turn to cinnamon in the fall.
A maple tree must be 40 years old to be harvested for sap. Maple trees can live up to be 400 years old. Many people love maple trees because of the vibrant autumn colors. The smallest maple trees are 8 feet tall (Japanese maple) and the biggest maple trees can be up to 100 feet tall (large sugar maple).
How do maple trees make syrup?
Maple trees produce a starch kept in the tree’s roots until springtime comes, and snow melts. Then, the starch moves up the tree’s trunk and turns into a sugar. One the sugary sap is in the trunk, sugar harvesters can tap into the tree. For the best harvest, the temperature must be above freezing during the day, and below freezing at night. To make one gallon of maple syrup, it takes 40 gallons of maple sap.
Different types of maple trees:
- Norway maple
- Silver maple
- Red maple
- Sugar maple
- Shantung maple
- Tatarian maple
- Amur maple
- Boxelder maple
- Hedge maple
- Miyabe maple
- Sycamore maple
- Japanese maple
- Korean maple
- Paperbark maple
- Rocky mountain maple
- Bigtooth maple
Pears grow on treats and are harvested in late summer and early fall. The most common types of pears are Bartlett, D’Anjou and Bosc pears. Pears are not as popular as apples during the fall season, but pears are a delicious fall fruit. The best time to get a pear at the grocery store is in November. Pears bruise quite easily, so be gentle when transporting the fruit. The three countries that grow the most pears are China, Italy and USA. In the USA, pears are grown in Washington and Oregon.