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Fall in love with pumpkin this autumn by tasting these must-try seasonal specialties

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This autumn, fall in love with pumpkin by trying these seasonal specialties. (Photo: Emily Faber, Sinclair Broadcast Group)

NEW YORK CITY (SBG) - As much as fall fanatics may want to, it’s inadvisable to live on pumpkin spice lattes alone. But if you wish all of your meals could remind you of sweater weather and colorful leaves, you’re in luck, because just about every food item you can imagine is getting the pumpkin spice treatment this season. With consumers buying into the craze as early as August, it’s a no-brainer for restaurants to jump on board with their own attempts at seasonal items. But rather than carelessly capitalizing on the trend, many businesses are instead putting thoughtful consideration into how pumpkin best fits in with their usual menu offerings.

At Manhattan sushi spot ROLLN, the Triple Pumpkin Roll explores pumpkin in three different ways for a true celebration of the fall favorite.

Each roll is made up of a combination of braised pumpkin, roasted pumpkin seeds, and a spiced pumpkin cream, plus the shop’s signature quinoa. The variation in texture keeps the hand roll’s flavor from being too overwhelming, but every bite is a clear indication of the most wonderful time of the year. Best of all, it doesn’t feel like a gimmick; though unconventional, pumpkin in a sushi roll surprisingly seems as natural an ingredient as cucumber or salmon.

If you’re looking to make an entire meal out of pumpkin-inspired dishes, the Triple Pumpkin Roll makes for an ideal appetizer. From there, head to Williamsburg’s Silver Light Tavern to order their pumpkin falafel sandwich as your main course.

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This sandwich, with its housemade pumpkin falafel and spicy curry veganaise, may possess the rare ability to appeal to both pumpkin lovers and haters alike. The pumpkin adds a layer of complexity to the falafel but its taste remains subtle, especially in conjunction with the less polarizing flavors of the warm pita and the delectable veganaise. If your pumpkin aversion stems from cloyingly sweet pumpkin pies and pumpkin spice lattes, the Brooklyn restaurant’s savory Middle Eastern sandwich might be just what you need to show you the light.

But if you do have a sweet tooth, why settle for pumpkin pie? Sure, it’s a classic, and it tastes fine, but who wants “fine” when you could have pumpkin mochi instead? If you’re looking to liven up your post-meal indulgences this autumn, Mochidoki's Pumpkin and Cookies mochi ice cream is the obvious choice.

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Mochidoki, never one to shy away from imaginative flavors, has created the perfect seasonal edition of the Japanese treat. A soft layer of pillowy rice cake dough encases pumpkin spice ice cream, and the inclusion of chocolate and vanilla cream cookies adds an unexpected but complementary twist. Despite ice cream’s reputation as a summer dessert, this tasty variety will surely have you feeling like fall.

The company has a forthcoming flagship location opening soon in Manhattan, but you can also order their mochi online if you aren’t local to New York City. Each flavor is sold in a set of four, and while a single piece is plenty satisfying, eating the whole box in one go is a tempting prospect.

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Once you’ve had your fill of mochi, top it off with a drink at JIMMY at The James.

The SoHo rooftop is currently serving a retrospective menu of their most popular cocktails, all updated with seasonal ingredients. With so many enticing options, choosing a drink presents a difficult feat, but if you’re a pumpkin fan, the Pumpkin Moscow Mule is a must. The classic combo of vodka and ginger beer gets new life with pumpkin butter and nutmeg, and it’ll have you wishing that fall lasted all year long.

Unfortunately, like all good things, fall will ultimately come to an end, and pumpkins will disappear just as quickly as they came. But even if it started way back in August this year, pumpkin spice season is still going strong for a little while longer, so don’t waste these precious moments on lattes alone.