The tail end of the pear and apple season brings with it a bright palate of tastes and flavors. By the end of October nearly all the apple and pear varieties have been harvested and Cornice and Anjou Pears are among the last to come off the tree. The interesting thing about these late pear and apple varieties is that some aren't ready to eat for another 3 - 4 weeks after harvest. They need to "cure" in temperatures just above freezing for a few weeks in order for the starches to start converting into sugars and allow the flesh to soften correctly. So you can enjoy your apples and pears well into the winter season!
Wild Mushrooms like Chanterelles start to appear during this time of year, as well as some lesser-known but highly sought-after varieties like Hen-of-the-Woods, Porcini and Matsutaki. The combination of fall moisture plus colder, but not freezing temperatures are ideal for mushrooms and drives hunters into the woods and chefs into the kitchen. Many varieties require unique preparation, but if you're a mushroom fan, the exploration is at least half of the fun.
Fingerling Potatoes have done more in recent years to inject some excitement into what most might consider a boring category. With their wide variety of color, shapes textures and flavors, fingerlings deserve the hype and if you haven't tried them, I highly recommend a little experimentation.
Finally, another one of those truly iconic items for me appears annually in October - Pomegranates. I'm not talking about your average little red, rock-hard, somewhat boring pomegranate. I'm talking about a huge piece of fruit in limited supply that you won't find in many stores. They are juicy, tart, sweet and healthy. I guarantee you won't forget your experience after seeing and eating one of these beauties.