Falling for Traditional Foods with a Twist

Comfort Foods

There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh baked pumpkin pie to make it feel like fall.  Traditional fall foods like pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash inspire a sense of comfort and home in all of us.  According to a recent Foodie News segment from the American Farm Bureau, these fall foods are inspiring more than just a sense of home.  They are appearing all over the specialty foods market and are one of the biggest food trends right now.


Louise Kramer of the National Association for the Specialty Food trade explained that specialty foods are all about experimentation and creativity and these traditional comfort foods are offering inspiration to specialty chefs across the country.  New offerings like sweet potato chocolate bars and butternut squash risotto create something new and interesting by using conventional flavors in different ways.  In restaurants, specialty food shops, and even on your grocery store shelves you can find pumpkin crackers, sweet potato tortilla chips, and butternut squash pasta sauce.


Trends like this one are what have helped the specialty food market weather the difficult economy better than other food segments.  People will use specialty products like pumpkin jam or sweet potato butter to liven up parties and holiday celebrations thrown at home instead of holding their event at a restaurant.  Having the option to use creative twists on old favorites allows shoppers to stretch their food dollar while keeping their guests satisfied.  Listen to the Foodie News segment here.


Looking to infuse your fall fare with some of these trendy items?  There are a wide range of options that take these three fall foods in new directions.   Here are some great recipes sure to liven up any table you set this holiday season.

Pumpkin Cake Cookies from Doris French, Maricopa Cattlewoman and member of Arizona State Cowbelles, listed on Fill Your Plate.

Pumpkin Graham Crackers from the Cupcake Project.

Harvest Pumpkin Dip from a Tasteofhome.com.

Pumpkin Jam from Food.com.


Basil Butter Sweet Potato Patties from Kelly Saxer of Desert Roots Farm, listed on Fill Your Plate.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Bars from Emeril Lagasse and Good Morning America.

Sweet Potato Butter from a Tasteofhome.com.

Sweet Potato Donuts with Maple Icing from the FoodNetwork.com.

Sweet Potato Ice Cream from the FoodNetwork.com.

Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce from the nourishing gourmet.com.

Butternut Squash Risotto from SimplyRecipes.com.

Red Lentil and Squash Curry Soup from MarthaStewart.com.

Bean and Butternut Tacos from EatingWell.com.


What recipes on Fill Your Plate do you consider to be comfort foods?


  • Interesting Facts about Pumpkin (fillyourplate.org)
  • Basil Butter Sweet Potato Patties (fillyourplate.org)
  • More Great Recipes (fillyourplate.org)
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