the food life

Fall Checklist

Photography By Carole Topalian | September 15, 2015
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Delicata Squash

If you are ready to embrace the blustery fall, we’ve got you covered with the best warming treats (think cinnamon, chiles, and bourbon) you should not even try to resist this season.

Hoagie Relish

This scorcher of a sandwich spread from Brine Street Picklery combines mega hot red cherry peppers with green bell peppers, onion, garlic and vinegar. Obviously, it’s great on a hoagie, but the relish is also a love match with scrambled eggs, pizza and hummus. Available at Fair Food Farmstand, 51 N. 12th St. (in Reading Terminal Market), 215.386.5211 and online at

Delicata Squash

Think of this pretty, petite winter squash as butternut’s more charming kid sister. Its small size and thinner, edible skin make it a breeze to chop and prep, and its sweet, nutty flavor is even more delicious. Delicata is a highly seasonal variety, so snap up as many as you can at farmers’ markets and grocery stores for the few weeks it will be on offer.

Wigle Whiskey
Courtesy of Wigle Whiskey

Za’atar Salami

It’s true that salami usually leans in the direction of Italy, but this new version by charcuterie specialist Nick Macri at La Divisa Meats takes the classic cured meat to the Middle East. It’s seasoned with za’atar, a mixture of thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame and sumac, making it an obvious choice for rounding out a picnic spread that includes hummus, pita and falafel. Available at La Divisa Meats, 51 N. 12th St. (in Reading Terminal Market), 215.386.5211.

Wigle Bourbon

Bourbon, the brown spirit that is an icon of the American South, has been keeping a pretty big secret. The stuff has a Penn-Sylvania past; some of the finest bourbon ever distilled was made decades ago in our state. Now Wigle Whiskey, a Pitts- burgh-based distillery, is making the first bourbon to come out of the Keystone State in more than 40 years. Wigle’s version is made from locally grown Wapsie Valley corn—an heirloom variety that makes for more complex flavor. available at Petruce Et Al., 1121 Walnut St., 267.225.8232,, or by the bottle online at

Thomas Jefferson’s Nightcap
Courtesy of Shane Confectionery

Cinnamon Roll Blended Nut Butter

If the mall food court tempts you with its cinnamon bun aroma, this spread from Blind Spot Nutbutters could be your healthier alternative. A mix of peanuts, cashews and almonds, the butter is sweetened with brown sugar and spiced up with cinnamon. Spread it on toast, pair with fall apples or simply treat yourself (or your kids) to a spoonful straight from the jar. Available at Stratton’s Wynnorr Farm, 1631 E. Street Rd., Glen Mills, 610.399.9080 and online at

Thomas Jefferson’s Nightcap

The tiny coffee and drinking-chocolate shop at Shane Confectionery in Old City is hidden to the point that it’s easy to miss. But you should venture back there for a Thomas Jefferson’s Chocolate Nightcap, a blend of 62% dark chocolate, milk, cream and vanilla served with a fluffy from-scratch marshmallow. Available at Shane Confectionery, 110 Market St., 215.922.1048,

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