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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Seasonal Survival Guide

5 New Foods to Feign Fall

Fall Macarons

After an aggressively humid summer, fall couldn’t come faster. We’ve had our fill of refreshing coolers and beach boardwalk hot dogs; it’s time to bring on the apple pie and mulled cider. Here, five new foods and drinks to give fall a little boost.

Francois Payard Bakery, New York: The pastry chef's famed macarons come in two new flavors: green apple honey and raisin pecan. Originally inspired by Rosh Hashannah, the confections are equally good for non-high holy days. payard.com

Einstein Bros. Bagels & Noah’s New York Bagels, Nationwide: Both chains just debuted limited-edition pumpkin bagels and pumpkin cream cheese. Also new: Pumpkin Bagel Clusters, which are lowbrow brilliant pull-apart mini bagel balls that are tossed with pumpkin syrup and cinnamon sugar streusel and drizzled with cream cheese ice cream. einsteinbros.com noahs.com

Tieton Cider Works, Western U.S., Alaska & Texas: This company is making an over-the-top for fall Smoked Pumpkin Cider using Washington State pumpkins and apples. Fittingly, it's flavored with apple wood smoke. tietonciderworks.com

Reese’s & Good Humor, Nationwide: Ideal for those who live in a place that never cools off, Reese’s and Good Humor are joining forces on peanut butter ice cream pumpkins. The chocolate-coated, pumpkin-shaped ice cream bars are filled with peanut butter ice cream swirled with Reese’s peanut butter.

Cathead Distillery, The South & Indiana: Mississippi distillery Cathead recently released the perfect boozy pairing for pie: a pecan-flavored vodka. The vodka is macerated with roasted Mississippi-grown pecans for a nutty, lightly sweet flavor. catheadvodka.com

Related: Fantastic Fall Cocktails
Best Fall Desserts
Recipes for Fall Produce

At-Home Mixologist

How to Set Citrus on Fire

With fall less than a week away, dark, complex drinks are steadily replacing light and fruity cocktails on bar menus. Recently opened New York restaurant The Musket Room makes a fantastic transitional offering: Fumero’s Gate combines coffee-infused Cynar, rye, Aperol, Cocchi Americano and Fernet Branca. But there's a dramatic twist, literally. Bartenders finish the drink by igniting an orange twist—a touch that provides an intense burst of caramelized citrus flavor along with a brief-but-spectacular pyrotechnics show. Head sommelier Erin Scala showed us how to execute this expert technique.

First, cut a half dollar-sized circle of citrus rind with a generous amount of pith. Gripping the peel around its edges about four inches over the cocktail, very carefully hold a lighter between the cocktail and the citrus skin, warming the skin gently for a few seconds. (“You want to get it nice and shiny,” Scala advises.) Then, pinch the citrus skin so the juices spray through the flame and into the glass. The fire will briefly plume out. Then, wipe the edge of the glass with the citrus. “If your bartender loves you, they'll wipe the base of the glass too,” says Scala, “so your fingers get this lovely citrus smell when you take a drink.” Proceed with caution.


Related: F&W’s Ultimate Cocktail Recipe Guide
Classic Cocktails
Amazing Whiskey Cocktails

Trendspotting

Hungry for the Arts in Boston

Revere Hotel in Boston.

Boston chefs are partnering with the city's cultural institutions. Here's where.

Movies: The Reel Chefs series at Theatre 1 in the Revere Hotel, just outside of Back Bay, invites local chefs to create a prix fixe menu to serve during one of their favorite movies. Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa chose 1980s cult classic The Goonies and made Truffle Shuffle (celeriac-truffle soup) and Chester Copperpot Pie (pheasant, mushroom and gnocchi). theatre1boston.com

Galleries: A hub of the wool trade in the early 1900s, Fort Point is now a hub for the city's art scene. At the center is the FPAC Gallery (fortpointarts.org), a mixed-media space that's home to rotating shows. More recently, chefs have moved into the area. Brothers Louis and Michael DiBiccari opened Tavern Road (tavernroad.com), above, a casual New England–inspired spot, around the corner from FPAC earlier this year. To help decorate the restaurant, the DiBiccaris commissioned artists to reinterpret works of their uncle Adio, a sculptor. Louis also founded the Create competition (create-boston.com), in which six chefs make dishes based on the work of local visual artists.

Museum: Near the Institute of Contemporary Art (open until 9 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays), chef Jody Adams's Trade features Mediterranean-style flatbreads and small plates until midnight. trade-boston.com

Related: Boston Travel Guide
Recipes from Boston Chefs
Art-Inspired Desserts

Drink This Now

Best High-Alcohol Beers

Deschutes Brewery

Oh, those clever folks at Amstel Bulgaria, always pushing the boundaries. Recently, there was news that they’d installed a beer vending machine on a street in Sofia that—and this is the genius part—would give you a free beer for doing nothing.

That meant really doing nothing, i.e. standing there for three minutes in front of the machine, not talking, not texting, not looking around, not dancing a jig, nada. But if you could manage to hold mind and body perfectly still for three minutes, hey presto, here’s your beer.

In light of the fact that Labor Day has come and gone, and we are all back at work, being given beer for doing nothing sounds particularly good right now. Of course, beer vending machines aren’t likely to take off in the US anytime soon, unless they can figure out how to make them check ID’s, too, so that will remain a dream. But in the meantime, thanks to the craft beer world’s fascination with high-alcohol beers, here are a few potent—and very good—brews that will pretty much ensure you'll relax once the work day is over (of course, you could just down a couple of Amstels, too, if you wanted).

Stone Espresso Imperial Russian Stout
Definitely not wimpy at 10.6 percent ABV (alcohol by volume), this lightly bitter, chocolaty stout has a distinct coffee note. That’s unsurprising, given that it was brewed together with several hundred pounds of espresso beans. It lifts you up even as it relaxes you. If you can’t find this one, Stone Smoked Porter is a mighty fine alternative (and about half the alcohol by volume).

Deschutes Black Butte XXV
In honor of this Oregon brewery’s 25th birthday, earlier this summer it released twice as much of its annual anniversary beer as usual. A potent imperial porter at 11.3 percent alcohol, it was brewed with cocoa nibs, figs and dates, and gets vanilla notes from a portion of it being aged in bourbon barrels. An excellent, easier-to-find alternative is Deschutes’ regular Black Butte Porter.

Smuttynose Rhye IPA
Part of the Smuttynose “Big Beer” Series—they come in 22-ounce bottles, hence the name—this aromatic, citrus-hoppy IPA gets an unexpected spiciness from 30 percent rye malt. It’s 7 percent ABV; not wildly strong, but a notch more than usual. Another option: the grapefruity, regular-release Smuttynose IPA.

Samuel Adams Tetravis
A Belgian quadruple ale that’s part of the Sam Adams Barrel Room collection—a limited series of barrel-aged beers fermented with a special blend of yeasts the Sam Adams folks have seen fit to call “Kosmic Mother Funk”—this is a caramel-y, dense, ruby-hued ale, 10.2 percent ABV. There’s no real alternative to it, but the annual, reliably tasty Sam Adams OctoberFest is also now in stores and worth checking out.

Related: Train Yourself to be a Better Beer Taster
Best Beer Gardens in the U.S.
Ultimate Beer Guide

F&W Rant

The Truth About Riesling

Wine expert Paul Grieco.

To borrow from Stephen Colbert, there is a "truthiness" about Riesling that unfortunately overshadows the truth. The truthiness is that Riesling is inherently sweet. The truth is that most Rieslings are so dry that the Garden of Eden would lose all its foliage if watered with a magnum. So let's start another conversation about Riesling, focusing on four things: balance, delicacy, complexity and sense of place.

We sometimes think of balance as one-dimensional. In fact, balance in wine requires a multiplicity of things—acids, sugars, pH levels, alcohol, magic dust—all in perfect alignment. And the cool thing about Riesling is that when one of these factors moves across the spectrum, the others shift to maintain equilibrium. There is no precise formula to measure balance; we just know it when we feel it. And what we feel with a glass of Riesling in our hand is what tightrope walker Philippe Petit feels every day at work.

Delicacy does not mean fragility or excessive sensitivity. Ultimately, the delicacy we yearn for in wine is a physiological rallying cry leading from one sip to a second. The palate should be so intrigued by what the wine has done to the taste buds that it cannot resist the opportunity to experience it again. With Riesling, one taste begs for another.

Complexity Put on your seat belt, because the journey through the various aromas and flavors of Riesling is a thrill ride that even Six Flags could not map out. Around every bend are citrus fruits, stone fruits, fruits that haven't even been named yet, coupled with floral overtones and buttressed by minerality that's like a quarry of boulders.

A grape's ability to express the land in which it's grown is one of the world's great mysteries (slightly below our fascination with Kim Kardashian). We recognize the existence of terroir when we line up five glasses of Riesling, from different places, and recognize the differences between them. That is Mother Earth screaming at us in liquid form!

Ultimately, the measure of truthfulness in Riesling is the happiness it creates. Your brain reels after every sip; your toes tingle so much you cannot put your socks on. As Ben Franklin famously said, wine is constant proof that God loves us. And with Riesling, we know God loves us absolutely.

Paul Grieco is co-owner of Hearth restaurant and Terroir wine bars in NYC.

Related: More from F&W's October Wine Issue
Riesling Wine Pairings
Guide to Perfect Wine Pairings

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