The main event for October is Halloween – which in culinary terms means pumpkin… there’s only one thing to be done with pumpkin (forget pumpkin pie) and that is to make it into a spicy soup with bacon. Thankfully there is still a lot of other, more interesting, produce with which to cook. October is the month, for example, when the truffle fair in Alba begins… and there are other funghi – ceps, chanterelles and puffballs.

“Autumn’s here. We know that it’s just a short parenthesis before winter….Nights of real frost, by day blue skies over the first yellow leaves. October’s warm wine, the light’s gentleness, four pm, the sun’s one good moment… A new pullover is required. Around our torsos we strap chestnuts, the forest floor, the red-pink of Russula mushrooms. The season contained in the softness of wool.” 

Philippe Delerm, La Première Gorgée de Bière

 

And there are also a raft of the more unusual root vegetables coming along – salsify and scorzonera for example as well as lots of tree fruit – apples, pears, quinces and medlars. At the butcher’s you will find duck, goose, grouse, guinea fowl, hare, pheasant, rabbit, venison and wild boar.

Oysters return. And on the fish front a terrifying fish comes into season in October: the fugu or pufferfish, which can be stewed, grilled or eaten raw as sashimi until March BUT just one fish contains enough neurotoxin to paralyse and suffocate 30 people.

 

Food in season in October

 

 

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