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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Temperatures aside, it’s time to cozy up for fall food”

    It may not feel like fall in Tucson, but the world of food has no boundaries.

    The conventional idea of autumn brings to mind blistering winds, changing leaves and gray clouds. With all that nasty weather, comforting tastes soothe the soul.

    October came in like July, with its lingering hot temperatures and monsoon rains, but the weather has finally cooled to low enough temperatures that students don’t confuse the just-in-case sweatshirt with a sweat rag.

    Though the weather might not show it, students who grew up elsewhere need not look far to see that autumn is alive and kickin’. All around town, hip fall foods are replacing old favorites like apple pie.

    The plates this season are bright and exotic in presentation and warm and spicy in flavor.

    At Seri Melaka, a new Malaysian restaurant at 6133 E. Broadway Blvd., customers can gaze at the bursting colors of yellow, red and green in one of the traditional lemak dishes. Turmeric, lemongrass and coconut milk create a yellow soup, which is filled with tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, pineapples and roasted garlic.

    At first glance, this combination of ingredients seems incompatible, but the warm flavors of garlic and turmeric actually balance quite well with the tangy flavors of pineapple and lemongrass.

    Pumpkin pie, because it’s just that good, returns every season as a national favorite, but this isn’t to say that it couldn’t use a Tucson makeover. The weather here is unconventional, and so should be the desserts. A number of local restaurants have taken pumpkin and “”pumped”” it up, so to speak.

    At the fairly new Sixth Street Cafe in Sam Hughes Place, concretes redefine the reigning Dairy Queen Blizzard. Hailing from the Midwest, a concrete mixes anything from cheesecake to chai with their very own frozen custard.

    Blended on the spot, the vanilla frozen custard and pumpkin concrete is so creamy and spicy that tasters will forget they’re eating a cold dessert and fall prey to the nearest big, comfy couch. Be sure to ask for fresh-shaved nutmeg and cinnamon.

    A less consuming fall treat is the Mexican hot chocolate at El Charro Cafe. The twist on this popular powder beverage is a bit of cinnamon mixed in with the cocoa. If the heat and the spice don’t soothe the soul, surely the bunuelos that accompany the drink will. Bunuelos are fried, thin strips of dough dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

    Minus the nasty weather, funky eats with their own idea of comfort enlighten out-of-towners on why autumn should not be a forgotten season here in the Old Pueblo.

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