It seems in recent years, fall has become all about pumpkin spice. But for many of us traditionalists, autumn and apples go hand in hand.
What's autumn without a trip to the orchard? The whole family can enjoy a day picking apples at one of the Show-Me State's U-pick locations!
Almost every apple orchard in the state offers fresh cider – but if you like yours with a kick, check out Brick River Ciderin St. Louis for hard cider that runs from traditional to innovative. And Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling in Ste. Genevieve offers a wide variety of hard apple ciders enhanced with everything from lemonade to blackberries. Pirtle Winery in Weston features a semi-dry wine made from freshly pressed Honey-Crisp apples that pairs great with barbecue. Make a visit to St. James Winery an annual event to pick up their seasonal Apple Pie wine; sweet with a hint of cinnamon, it's just like apple pie in a bottle.
If you'd rather eat your apple treats than drink them, Peter's Orchards in Waverly has an apple cider donut you don't want to miss. The Blue Owl Restaurant and Bakery in Kimmswick is famous for their Levee High Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. The Candy Factory in Columbia offers a signature fall treat from late August through Halloween: apples coated in their own made-from-scratch caramel. And for a giant-size appetite, try Farmington's Sweetheart Chocolates for a HUGE (up to 1.3 pounds!) caramel apple, handmade every week, year-round.
Pretty much the whole state celebrates the apple harvest each fall, so make sure you make time to join the party! You don't have to look far to find a festival dedicated to America's favorite homegrown fruit.
Written by Barb Brueggeman