Must-Try Autumn Dishes Around the World
As autumn descends around the globe and the light grows softer, there is a hush. Tourists have gone home and children are back in school, but as seasoned travelers know, fall is one of the best times to travel under the radar and experience cultures a little more intimately. Part of the charm of the season is the earthy, hearty ingredients and specialties gracing local markets. Here are just a few to savor.
Crayfish in Stockholm: Swedes celebrate the end of summer with crayfish parties, orkräftskiva, at their summer cottages, donning silly paper hats, singing songs, and drinking lots of Aquavit while eating the heavily dilled crustaceans. Don’t have a Swedish idyl of your own? Try Sturehof restaurant in Stockholm for a taste of this joyous tradition.
Game in London: Think of Britain in the autumn and hunting and tweed come to mind. The Cinnamon Club in London combines the best of all things British and is serving a “Game High Chai,” their twist on high tea. Grouse, partridge, venison are coupled with chutneys, pumpkin and lots of Indian spice.
Mooncakes in Singapore: Mooncakes are starting to appear in pastry shops and on dessert menus throughout Asia to celebrate the Chinese Harvest Moon Festival. Look for these traditional lotus paste and egg yolk-stuffed pastries at bakeries in your nearest Chinatown. And if you find yourself in Singapore, don't miss the famous mooncakes at the Fullerton Hotel.
Wild Mushrooms in Moscow: Muscovites welcome autumn by hunting for wild mushrooms in the birch forests near their datchas. Moscow restaurant, Tsarskaya Ohota takes this foraged delicacy a step further by braising the local delicacy with Russian buckwheat in a wood-fired oven to great effect.
Spiced stuffed chiles in San Miguel del Allende: Come the cooler weather, the festive Chiles en Nogada begins to grace tables across Mexico. These meat-stuffed poblano chilies in walnut sauce with pomegranate seeds are often eaten to celebrate Mexican independence day in mid-September because of their patriotic color scheme. To find some of the best, wander just off the historic square in San Miguel de Allende, where you'll find El Correo restaurant which specializes in this very special autumn treat.
Sally Hurst is a chef and writer based in London. You can follow her on Twitter @chefsallyjane.