10 fall food and drink essentials for the ‘basic’ in your life

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Joey Skladany is an In The Know cooking contributor. Follow him on Instagram and visit his website for more.

Sipping a pumpkin spice latte while rocking Uggs and a Burberry scarf may, at least from an outsider’s perspective, appear like you’ve achieved peak basic status, but basicness is so much more than a stereotyped lifestyle — it’s a state of mind. And fall, of course, is when anyone’s inner basic can rear its beanie-adored head in full force. 

As the author of Basic Bitchen, I know a thing or two about the products that best capture these seasonal flavors in the kitchen. They are, after all, the ones that also encourage the warm and cozy vibes we crave during cooler months. 

So if you’re looking to stock up your pantry or gift hygge-friendly products to a friend, check out the 10 food and drink essentials that are more than deserving of a spot in your shopping cart. 

Tazo Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea, $23.34

Credit: Amazon

A pumpkin spice latte is too predictable and something you can easily order at your nearest Starbucks. A pumpkin spice chai, however, is something you can brew at home while channeling your inner barista. Add your milk or dairy alternative of choice, a sweetener and pour it into your favorite mug before going apple picking or hitting up your nearest farmer’s market.  

Pacific Foods Creamy Butternut Squash Soup, $5.69 

Credit: Amazon

If soup soothes the soul, then butternut squash soup repairs it with a creamy, sweet departure from the lighter, more boring broths you may have grown accustomed to. It’s one of those no-frills meals that only demands a spoon and maybe a piece of warm bread, making it the perfect carton to have on backup when energy and dinner inspiration hits an all-time low. 

Truffle Shuffle Brown Butter Truffle Honey, $22.95

Credit: Amazon

Truffle? Check. Brown butter? Check. Honey? Check. This is an example of three seasonal ingredients that basics love but combined to create one great product. Your inclination may be to put this on toast — but that toast better have melted cheese on it, as well, because brown butter truffle honey grilled cheeses are out-of-this-world delicious. 

Swiss Miss Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, $9.90

Credit: Amazon

Hot chocolate is already scrumptious and comforting on its own, but salted caramel elevates it to a level that — frankly — deserves more than a powdered mix packet with hot water. So don’t forget to add the marshmallows, but also a drizzle (or seven) of the sticky, sweet stuff that you can easily find jarred or bottled. 

Sensible Portions Apple Cinnamon Straws, $22.99

Credit: Amazon

Made with pureed apples and sprinkled with cinnamon, these crunchy straws are a wonderful alternative to potato chips. In fact, they’re a snack you’re likely not going to be able to put down, which is why these individually sized bags are perfect for exercising some level of restraint.  

Aplenty Hickory Bacon Bourbon BBQ Sauce, $3.89

Credit: Amazon

Basics love bacon just as much as they love a good barbecue sauce, and this condiment delivers the best of both worlds to complement autumn grilling. Use it to baste ribs or as a dip for french fries — whatever your heart desires. Its versatility is what makes it a mealtime must. 

Runamok Maple Sparkle Syrup, $18.95

Credit: Amazon

Your pancakes and waffles deserve a fabulous upgrade, and Runamok goes over the top with this glittery syrup that is almost too fun to eat. You’re obviously going to want to host a brunch and entertain your friends with its shine and shimmer, so consider it to be not just a gimmicky buy but an investment in your social life. 

Jelly Belly Juicy Pear Jelly Beans, $12.99

Credit: Amazon

Apples get all of the love and attention during the fall months, but pears also flourish in cooler weather. While you can always bake a pear cobbler or crumble, serving a dish of these bad boys will have guests appreciate the nod to the underrated fruit’s seasonality. 

Bobo’s Gingerbread Oat Bars, $29.88

Credit: Amazon

Run, run, as fast as you can to grab Bobo’s gingerbread oat bars before they fly off shelves. The limited-edition product is back, and it’s the carb bomb you need to get you through a day of jumping in leaf piles, carving pumpkins and putting together that holiday playlist. 

Divina Chili Fig Spread, $5.99

Credit: World Market

This is a charcuterie board must-have with its spicy-sweet flavor profile and seed-heavy texture play. Spread it on cheese, cured meats and crackers to create a sandwich snack that makes Lunchables look like absolute amateur hour.

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