Plums, peaches, and nectarines may be gone or nearly so but much of summer’s harvest continues well past the beginning of fall. Some foods that we associate with summer, especially melons, often peak in September and October. And if we don’t have an early winter, if temperatures remain warm and early rains are not too heavy, we will have local berries, sweet peppers, chiles, zucchini, and tomatoes for several more weeks, perhaps even into mid and late November.
A fall tomato is heavy, rich, and sweet, unlike early summer tomatoes, with their brightness and tang. If you typically shop in grocery stores, the difference may not be noticeable but if you garden or get your produce at farm stands and farmers markets, the nuances of taste and texture are dramatic and delicious.
So, what are the best things to be eating, right now? Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, along with sweet peppers, all manner of chiles, and watermelon. Indulge before they vanish and preserve what you can to enjoy until the cycle begins all over again.
There are nearly 10 farmers markets this weekend. Visit the ones closest to you, visit your favorites, and luxuriate in the season’s bounty. For inspiration, click on Cooking and put “Fall” in the search bar. And check back later today for some of my newest fall favorites, including fermented chiles, fermented tomatoes, and the best fall sandwich ever.