6 Grocery Store Finds You Should Always Buy in the Fall

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Seasonal bounty doesn’t end with the first autumn frost. While my favorite cool-weather food (butter, duh) is available year-round, there are some other seasonal items worth keeping an eye out for in the store over the next few weeks. Here are six of the ones I’m most excited about.

1. Figs

The darlings of the autumn salad (or bacon whatevers) make an appearance in autumn. Grab them while you can, and give up looking for the perfect one; bruised versions taste just as good.

2. Pears

Pears are ripe and ready to eat for roughly 27 seconds, and now’s the time to get them. Salads, desserts, and cheese best accompany this fruit that ripens inside out. (If it’s soft on the outside, it’s practically pear juice on the inside.)

3. Winter Squash

Slice and bake them (and don’t forget to fill them with cheese). These guys aren’t just for display (despite what McSweeney’s says).

4. Persimmons

These soft, sweet Asian fruits (that look similar to tomatoes) are a West Coast staple this time of year.

5. Specialty Cheeses

According to the folks at Rogue River in Oregon, cheesemakers know that people are more likely to try new (and more expensive) cheeses for celebrations, so they often release their more unique creations in autumn, in time for the holidays. The cheesemaker releases 3,000 wheels of its Rogue River blue cheese every September, which is known for being wrapped in pear brandy-macerated Syrah leaves from a nearby vineyard.

6. Beaujolais Nouveau

Released on the third Thursday in November (just in time to be paired with turkey), this young wine is a versatile red produced with Gamay grapes in the Burgundy region of France. The purpose of the bottle? To celebrate the end of harvest. Your market’s wine department will likely have a party of their own (or at least a tasting) to release it.