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12 Foods (& "Food Trends") We're Really into This Fall

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You're right to be wary of any dish, ingredient, or cuisine that touts itself as "the newest [insert popular food item here]." Food trends can be fickle and short-lived—one day they're "in," the next day they're "over"—when in reality, food preferences are subjective and personal, and a goji berry that's so 2014 is still available (and scrumptious) today.

However, that doesn't mean you can't note the changing tide of en vogue foods and enjoy them while they're on top. After all, they might give you an opportunity to make use of a (previously) unsung ingredient. Much like fashion trends, food trends provide us with a chance to experiment. And who knows, maybe you'll even find something on this list to add to your culinary repertoire—or else you might discover that a food you already cherished is the newest gustatory darling (and bask in the glory that you knew about it first).

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Some of these ingredients or cuisines might already be familiar to you, and some might be totally novel; all we know is, they're what we want to be eating this fall. Come—join us.

Purple Foods

Purple Sweet Potatoes and How to Use Them

Purple Sweet Potatoes and How to Use Them by Lindsay-Jean Hard

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Purple Cauliflower

Purple Cauliflower

40 Bright Recipes for Purple Produce Season (What Beige?)

40 Bright Recipes for Purple Produce Season (What Beige?) by Ali Slagle

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Purple Carrots

Purple Carrots

Beet Casunsei
Beet Casunsei

When it comes to your fall food color palette, there's one hue to rule them all: purple. We've seen purple pop up in hearty winter vegetables and Pantone hues for a while, but it seems this shade has staying power. So go chuck some cabbage, cauliflower, beets, potatoes (both sweet and regular), concord grapes and red onions in your reusable shopping bag and get cooking.

Bisque is Back

Thomas Keller's Butternut Soup with Brown Butter, Sage, and Nutmeg Crème Fraîche

Thomas Keller's Butternut Soup with Brown Butter, Sage, a... by Genius Recipes

Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup

Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup by Gena Hamshaw

Pureed Parsnip and Cardamom Soup with Caramelized Shallots
Pureed Parsnip and Cardamom Soup with Caramelized Shallots

Originally used to denote a shellfish-based soup, the term "bisque" has come to encompass any pureed soup with a smooth, silky texture. Often (but not necessarily) thickened with cream, bisque is usually associated with French haute cuisine, and can be dismissed as fussy and high-maintenance. However, at its heart bisque is nothing more intimidating than a blended, vegetable- or seafood-based soup, and it, along with traditional French cuisine on the whole, is experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Plus, did we mention cream?

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all sorts of things on Tap

My Adventures in Brewing Kombucha (& How You Can Do It, Too)

My Adventures in Brewing Kombucha (& How You Can Do It, Too) by Sarah Jampel

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How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee

How to Make Cold-Brewed Coffee by Food52

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Beer and soda aren't the only things you can get on tap anymore, folks. From wine to kombucha to batch cocktails (hey, negroni!) to cold brew coffee (and cold brew negronis!), many of your favorite beverages are now available via tap. Does this make them taste any better? That's up for debate—but it certainly looks cool.

Seaweed

The Unsung Ingredients of the Sea

The Unsung Ingredients of the Sea by Sodium Girl

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How to Cook Hijiki: The Least Seaweedy Seaweed of All

How to Cook Hijiki: The Least Seaweedy Seaweed of All by Katie Okamoto

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Put Seaweed in Your Egg Salad (& 10 Other Non-Sushi Ways to Use It)
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Put Seaweed in Your Egg Salad (& 10 Other Non-Sushi Ways to Use It)

You might already know that seaweed is a superfood, chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants. However, kelp and algae are also touted as the future of sustainable aquaculture because they're healthy, grow quickly, and absorb carbon. While you're probably familiar with the nori wrapped around your sushi rolls, chefs are starting to find more ways to highlight this marine plant—and so should you. A few suggestions for how to start your seaweed love affair: pickle it, add it to grain or poke bowls, or transform it into a savory, vinegar-laced salad.

Portuguese Food

A Portuguese Dish that Unites—and the Pot to Cook It In

A Portuguese Dish that Unites—and the Pot to Cook It In by Annie Crabill

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A Crustless Portuguese Tart Where Custard Reigns Supreme

A Crustless Portuguese Tart Where Custard Reigns Supreme by Katie Macdonald

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Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Cauliflower)

Caldo Verde (Portuguese Soup with Cauliflower) by Bogre

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Caipirinha

Meyer Lemon and Thyme Caipirinha by Beautiful, Memorable Food

Dubbed "Europe's best-kept secret" by CNN Travel, it's high time that Portuguese food got its time in the spotlight. The cuisine shines due to its wealth of incredible local ingredients, from fresh seafood to incredible dairy and flavorful pork, not to mention its excellent wines (vinho verde and port, we're looking at you). This fall, it's time to expand your knowledge of Portuguese food past the pastel de nata.

Smoky foods

3 Steps to Smokier Cocktails

3 Steps to Smokier Cocktails by Steven Raichlen

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A Spicy, Smoky Shawarma-Inspired Sheet Pan Dinner

A Spicy, Smoky Shawarma-Inspired Sheet Pan Dinner by Alexandra Stafford

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This Smoky, Spicy Pasta is as Close to Carbonara as Vegetarians Will Get

This Smoky, Spicy Pasta is as Close to Carbonara as Veget... by Sarah Jampel

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Guess the Star Ingredient in This Surprisingly Smoky Pasta Alla Vodka

Guess the Star Ingredient in This Surprisingly Smoky Past... by Alexandra Stafford

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Smoky flavors are emerging out of the realm of barbecue into your vegetables, pasta, and even cocktails. And we say you should embrace them. The essence of smoke adds a meaty savoriness to vegetarian (or mostly vegetarian) dishes, and is especially welcome as temperatures drop and the craving for cozy, warming food hits hard.

sesame and tahini desserts

A Greek Sesame Cookie That Made New Italian-Americans Feel at Home

A Greek Sesame Cookie That Made New Italian-Americans Fee... by cucina di mammina

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It’s My Birthday and I Can Eat Gray Cake If I Want to

It’s My Birthday and I Can Eat Gray Cake If I Want to by Sarah Jampel

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Rose-Flavored, Tahini-Swirled Meringues

Rose-Flavored, Tahini-Swirled Meringues by Alice Medrich

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Rice Pudding with Sesame Crumble and Blueberries

Rice Pudding with Sesame Crumble and Blueberries by Sarah Jampel

Tahini "Soufflé" (Molten Tahini Cakes)

Tahini "Soufflé" (Molten Tahini Cakes) by Catherine Lamb

Baked Halva

Baked Halva by jessicamclement

Sesame sweets aren't anything new (we at Food52 have had a soft spot for them for quite a while), but recently tahini has been popping up on more and more dessert menus. As with peanut butter, tahini's nutty, creamy flavor plays well in both sweet and savory dishes—but it's the sweet ones that are really having a moment. Combine sesame paste with Japanese flavors like matcha and red bean, sub it for peanut butter in some tried-and-true dishes (hey, chocolate chip cookies), or just let it shine all on its own—just make sure to take advantage of sesame (and tahini) madness while it's at its peak.

Sour beers

How to Talk About Beer Like You Know What You're Talking About
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How to Talk About Beer Like You Know What You're Talking About

Sour beers, which acquire their vinegary funk from a genus of yeast called Brettanomyces, are divisive: you either love them, or you really, really don't. I myself am a sour beer convert: its bracing tang keeps beer fatigue at bay, and its funky tartness plays just as well with hearty fall fare as it does with nachos. Sour beers have long been the darling of beer geeks everywhere, but their non-traditional flavor has begun to attract beer skeptics—so give it a try to see whether you're pro- or anti- this new beer trend.

melty, vegetarian sandwiches

11 Fantastic Vegetarian Sandwiches Guaranteed To Fill You Up

11 Fantastic Vegetarian Sandwiches Guaranteed To Fill You Up by Katie Macdonald

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Vegetarian Muffuletta

Vegetarian Muffuletta by Josh Cohen

Fried Cauliflower Po'Boys with Olive “Remoulade”

Fried Cauliflower Po'Boys with Olive “Remoulade” by hardlikearmour

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese

Spanakopita Grilled Cheese by Alexandra V. Jones

If you needed any more evidence that sandwiches are having a moment, just look at Bon Appetit's pick for Best New Restaurant, 2017—and not just sandwiches, but vegetarian sandwiches. Recently, chefs have been putting a lot more thought into vegetarian sandwich options than just slapping some hummus and cheese between two slices of bread. From deep-fried cauliflower to crisp, pickled vegetables to condiments galore, vegetarian sandwiches aren't just for meat-abstainers anymore.

Nordic baked goods

Leila Lindholm’s Classic Swedish Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns

Leila Lindholm’s Classic Swedish Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns by The Curious Pear

Chocolate-Almond Giant Cinnamon Bun Cake

Chocolate-Almond Giant Cinnamon Bun Cake by Sarah Jampel

Cherry-Almond Danish
Cherry-Almond Danish

A few years ago Rene Redzepi ushered in the era of New Nordic cuisine, with its foraged nettles and insect garnishes and ability to make pickled fish a covetable menu item. However, Scandinavian desserts, the kind usually found accompanying a strong coffee for fika, the daily Swedish coffee break, are popping up at bakeries left and right. From cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric buns to tiger cake and almond danishes, prepare yourself for Nordic pastries galore.

Udon noodles

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing

Cold Vegetable and Noodle Salad with Ponzu Dressing by Sarah Jampel

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale

Spicy, Peanutty Udon with Kale by Laura

Massaman-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup
Massaman-Inspired Chicken Noodle Soup

Ramen and pho have had their heyday, but we're predicting that udon will be the newest "it" noodle. Thick, chewy, and oh-so-slurpable, udon noodles are typically served hot in the winter (often in soup) and cold in the summer, alongside a dipping sauce. This fall, sub them for egg noodles in your classic chicken noodle, or use them as a base to soak up your favorite stir-fry.

alternative flours

11 Ways to Use Up Non-Wheat Flours

11 Ways to Use Up Non-Wheat Flours by Caroline Lange

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Change One Ingredient in This Pound Cake Recipe, Get a Whole New Cake

Change One Ingredient in This Pound Cake Recipe, Get a Wh... by Alice Medrich

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How to Tinker With *Any* Flour, From Rice to Cricket (Yes, Cricket)

How to Tinker With *Any* Flour, From Rice to Cricket (Yes... by Alice Medrich

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Apple-Gruyère Buckwheat Biscuits

Apple-Gruyère Buckwheat Biscuits by PieceOfLayerCake

Wheat-free flours are nothing new for gluten-free baking, but alternative flours are gaining popularity because of their intrinsic (and unusual) flavors. From chestnut flour pancakes to spelt scones to fruit-filled buckwheat cookies to rice flour-based sweet potato cake and cricket flour cookies, alternative flours are no longer a compromise; they're an end unto themselves. Stock up at the bulk bin section and then check out Alice Medrich's guide to experimenting with alternative flours, and let the baking begin.

What do you think—are these food trends played out, or do they have staying power? And what's the next trend coming around the corner?

Tags: food trends, new & now, new foods