Edible Fall Flavors: How to Eat Your Way Through Autumn in the Berkshires

Fall practically begs you to run through leaf piles and cozy up in a cardigan while enjoying a good hike, but all that outdoor activity is enough to make even the hardiest person work up a serious appetite. When hunger strikes and nothing but fall flavors will do, check out these suggestions for places to satisfy your hankering — at least for now.

Pumpkin

Is fall even fall if you’re not drowning under a deluge of everything pumpkin? While the rest of the world is settling for those ubiquitous lattes (you know the ones), locals and visitors in the Berkshires are finding far more delicious ways to indulge.

SoCo Creamery in Great Barrington specializes in ice cream, gelato, and sorbet, with all their dairy coming straight from Vermont, and even one scoop of their seasonal pumpkin ice cream with chocolate chips can be life changing. For a more homemade celebration of fall, grab your own gourds at the closest Berkshire pumpkin patch, then whip your own pumpkin pie or spicy roasted pumpkin seeds.

Apple

Few things are more closely tied to fall traditions than apples. Once you hit autumn, the trees are dotted with heavy fruit ripe for the picking, and bakeries start churning out those sweet-tart treats that just don’t taste quite the same the rest of the year.

To get your fill, pick apples at Bartlett’s Orchard (they also have incredible apple-infused pastries) or visit Whitney’s Farm Market and Garden Center for a wide variety of native Berkshire apples plus apple cider doughnuts baked fresh daily.

Freshly Baked Bread

Technically you can bake fresh bread year-round, but there’s something about dipping fall temps that make flipping on the oven and pound on some dough increasingly tempting. Plus, the smell of a loaf that’s just emerged from the oven is as comforting as it is tempting.

Stop by Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, a family-run spot that’s been around for more than 40 years, and make up a basket with fresh baguettes, premium sliced meats, artisanal cheese, prepared salads, and some sweets for one last fall picnic. There’s also Berkshire Mountain Bakery; owner/baker Richard Bourdon was featured in a Netflix documentary adding even more appeal to his perfectly crusty baguettes, mini ciabattas, and cherry-pecan loaves.

Maple

As Berkshire locals and Little House on the Prairie fans know, you can make your own maple syrup treats by boiling a pot of the sticky stuff and drizzling it onto clean snow. That works well, since maple trees are generally tapped in February and March when it’s freezing out, but the craving for maple goodies starts far earlier.

To get a preview of the forthcoming winter maple production, check out Ioka Valley Farm’s stash of edibles that range from maple granola to a rich and tangy maple mustard, or grab a jar of maple syrup and some candy — no DIY required — from the Maple Corner Farm.

Winter Produce

Edible fall flavors aren’t all about sweets. There are so many local farms in and around the Berkshires and just as many restaurants powered by chefs who value locally sourced products above all else. The result is a wealth rotating menus that celebrate the season by incorporating everything from mushrooms to sweet potatoes to brussels sprouts and so much more.

The Old Inn on the Green has a tasting menu rife with seasonal deliciousness, including dishes like pan roasted squab with cauliflower and chanterelle mushroom sauce and a roasted beet tarte tatin that are distinctly autumnal. Mezze Bistro + Bar is another farm-to-table spot, and even their drinks are infused with ingredients that reflect the season.

Need a home base for your fall explorations in the Berkshires? Settle into the luxury cottages at the Lake House and discover how beautiful lakeside accommodations in Western Massachusetts can be.