When November comes to an end and the seasons head in a new direction, the weather gets colder, the fall decorations come down and the smell of pumpkin spice in the air quickly gets replaced with the cool smell of peppermint hot cocoa. This is the beginning of a new holiday season. Although many may agree that this change in flavor is a nice break from pumpkin spice season, I find myself missing the flavors of the fall season when the temperature dips because November flavors are far better than December flavors on any cold day. Let me explain.
December is notorious for its peppermint flavor, a cool flavor that matches the weather and bites your tongue like the frost bites your nose on a cold winter night. However, the spice of November does not bite your tongue or leave your senses cool but envelops them in a warm hug of cinnamon, spice and everything nice. Fall flavors are versatile: We find that cinnamon, maple and pumpkin spice find their way anywhere during the fall season. From loaves to cakes, the spice of fall is gentle enough to harmonize with any flavor, and it does. Peppermint, on the other hand, is only good when paired with chocolate. It is too strong to stand on its own in a cake or loaf, and when it is paired with coffee or chocolate, it is often a battle of flavors instead of a merry harmony.
Second, December flavors are simply too overpowering. With a sip of peppermint hot chocolate, or a bite of peppermint bark, the minty flavor coats your mouth, assaults your senses and is the only thing you taste. Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing if you love mint, but for the vast majority of us who only enjoy a healthy amount of mint, it’s a bit much. On the other hand, fall flavors are gentle like the leaves — painted red and orange, falling from a tree — and the tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg don’t assault your taste buds.
Lastly, the smell of fall flavors beats winter flavors by a landslide. A pumpkin spice or cinnamon-maple candle will make your house smell warm and inviting, whereas the harsh smell of mint might just give your guests a headache.
So, when November ends and the seasons turn on their heels to a new direction, consider keeping your pumpkin spice candle out, and maybe pair it with a few candy canes too (in the wrapper of course, or else your living room may turn into a chaos of smells). Nonetheless, fall and winter flavors are beautiful in their own way and by far the best flavors of the year (don’t even get me started on Valentine’s Day chocolate).