Let's start off with a little public service announcement: Pumpkin spice isn't the only fall flavor out there. I know the orange, festively spiced glop is a seasonal staple, but I for one enjoy a little variety.
While PSLs will probably always hold a top billing for seasonal specialties, why not expand your fall flavor palate? You never know, you may even find a new favorite.
13 fall flavors to try.
This ancient, aromatic spice is a personal favorite of mine, and it works for any season, but especially for fall. Add a sprinkle to your morning oatmeal, latte or cinnamon toast. Try baked goods like pistachio cardamom cake or cardamom cookies.
2. Butternut squash.
Believe it or not, butternut squash can make a fine addition to your latte flavor collection. While it's certainly harder to find (I had one in Troy, New York last year), you can make your own puree to add to hot drinks. (Try this butternut butterscotch latte recipe.)
Of course, there are the butternut squash staples, like soup or roasted dishes.
Nothing screams fall like a colorful maple tree, and fresh, runny maple syrup to add to hot pancakes, coffee and oatmeal. While it may seem basic, it's an absolute fall must-have.
4. Vanilla spice.
Either as a candle scent or a coffee flavor, vanilla spice is like a comfortable worn-in sweater you pull out the minute the temperature dips.
5. Chai (and not just traditional black, try rooibos, green or white, too).
The aroma of a hot chai on a cold, rainy day is like a warm blanket, but for your tastebuds. If the standard black tea version doesn't appeal to you, try an herbal version, like red or green rooibos chai, or, something for a light and delicate version, white chai.
This may be my favorite herb to add to cocktails, appetizers and pasta. Make some brown butter sage sauce and pour over roasted butternut squash or gnocchi.
7. Apple (apple spice, apple ginger, apple cinnamon).
Autumn is the apple harvest, so apples earned a place on this list fair and square. In addition to the typical apple cider, donuts and pie, try adding the fruit to savory dishes, like chicken pot pie.
8. Cinnamon (tastes fantastic paired with almost any of the flavors on this list).
While plenty tasty on its own, this warming spice works best in tandem with just about anything on this list.
9. Nutmeg (ditto).
Not just a welcome addition to hot chocolate and cookies, nutmeg also works well in mashed potatoes and even chili.
Another good pairing ingredient, bourbon works particularly well with nuts. Give this recipe for a crunchy, creamy pecan bourbon tart a try.
This nut not only adds a fun crunch to salads, yogurt and oatmeal, but can star in its own recipes, like the one above, or a classic butter pecan cake.
12. Walnut or hazelnut.
A match made in heaven is dark chocolate and either of these nuts.
Don't let the popular old-person-cookie filling ingredient turn you off. Fig jam on a burger is sweet and savory heaven, and this marinated fig and goat cheese crostini from the Food Network looks like the perfect party recipe.