Halloween Food is prepared for Halloween, the festival celebrated on the 31st of October every year in USA, Europe and other western countries for driving away evil spirits. It mainly includes a huge variety of delicious candies. Apart from this, the festive menu also comprises different types of desserts and snacks which may be cakes, cookies, corn or sweet breads. Candy Apple, also known as Taffy Apple, Barmbrack( an Irish fruit cake made containing charms for the occasion), the British Bonfire Toffee( also known as treacle toffee), and the American Candy Corn( a corn-syrup confection) are some of the most popular dishes served for the occasion. The Irish Colcannon which is also one of the popular Halloween foods is a salted, creamy vegetable dish.
Traditional Halloween Recipes
Halloween food has been prepared by followers of American and European cuisines since the time of the ancient Celtics who actually started celebrating the occasion. Some of the traditional Halloween recipes include:
• Taffy Apples – These are candied apples made by coating crisp and firm apples, preferably of the Fuji or Granny Smith varieties, with a caramelized and creamy sugar solution made by including butter in the basic caramel which may also be flavored. The apples may also be coated with a solution of milk chocolate and also rolled in nuts after being coated. Caramel Apples are very popular treats for the occasion. They are not only made for Halloween but for other occasions also. Though available commercially, the homemade versions are more preferred by the consumers as homemade caramel is softer in texture than the commercially prepared ones.
• Bramback – also known as Báirín Breac locally, Irish fruit bread, made with raisins and sultanas is another special Halloween food. It is consumed as a snack, toasted with some butter, for tea. Commercially, it is sold as rounded loaves. Charms are hidden in this bread which prophesize the future of the eater of the bread.
• Bonfire toffee – this English Halloween food is a hard and brittle confection made of sugar, butter or margarine, Black treacle, Golden Syrup( another kind of treacle), and vinegar. Food color is used to impart attractive colors to the toffees. It is commonly bought from shops where it is available as lollies or as toffee bars.
• Candy Corn- This is a Canadian and American confection resembling a corn kernel in form and size and contains corn syrup. The brightly colored candy corn has a yellowish or creamish bottom, an orange colored center which narrows down at the apex which is a rounded white structure. A variant, called Indian corn may contain a chocolate colored bottom. This is a famous Halloween food and it has been created by the Wunderlee Candy Company.
• Colcannon- This dish, made from white cabbage or mashed potato or kale, is one of the most famous non-sweet Irish Halloween foods. A creamy version of this dish, which may be garnished with leeks, onions, or garlic, is made by adding milk, cream or butter. Boiled ham and local bacon may also be added to the dish. Rings, or thimbles or other charms, found in the Colcannon, were believed to prophesize the future of the consumer.
• Pumpkin Dishes- One of the most significant Halloween foods are the pumpkin dishes which may be pumpkin bread, or pumpkin pie or roasted seeds of the pumpkin.
Apart from these typical foods, other items like fancy candies, soul cakes and sweet corn roast are quite popular.
The festive menu for Halloween includes a variety of confections. It may include some heavy dishes as it is the harvest time and the crop yield may be used for making special dishes. Fancy items may be made with meat or vegetables like the acron squash and the pumpkin.
Flavorful mashed potato and corn muffin may also be added to the list of popular Halloween foods for the festive menu. The main theme of Halloweenrecipes should always be fancy forms. The Hash Browns, Muffins and toasts may all be shaped into fancy forms which can also be scary to a certain extent. Halloween parties are of special interest to children and the food along with other aspects should be made as interesting as possible to suit the occasion. Turtle sandwiches, Orange Jelly, Nut Cartoons, Sugar Off, Halloween Cake, Halloween Spreads, Raised Loaf Cake, Boxty Pancakes Chicken Corn Candy, Pumpkin-faced tarts are some of the items on the historical menu.
Historical Facts and Significance of Halloween Foods
Halloween Food of different types have been popular in American and western cultures from the ancient Samhain period. During this period the festival was celebrated by lighting a bonfire and food and drinks were placed outdoors for the spirits to feast on them. Mumming was a custom in which people wandered about in the night from home to home exchanging food and drinks along with other festive items. Divination, the custom by which the Halloween celebrators connected with their ancestors, was also a time when drinks and food were exchanged between the people.
Modern Day Halloween Recipes
Halloween food has undergone a vast change since the ancient and olden times. The traditional dishes are being cooked using new equipment and also new ingredients and procedures. Microwave caramel corn is a dish that is made by caramelizing corn in a microwave. It is a faster and more convenient way of cooking the dish than the conventional way. Gingerbread ghosts and choco lanterns are being cooked in modern ways. As health consciousness is on the rise, these days, the consumption of candies or dessert items for the occasion by many adults and children seems to be declining.
Presenting Halloween Dishes
Halloween food is aimed at making the party a memorable one. The dishes are generally prepared in fancy shapes and/or arranged in fancy containers on the party table. The arrangement of the table and the containers should be themed for the party as they should attract the attention of the guests. They can be a bit scary too. Coffin-shaped popcorn trays, and spider-shaped cakes, for example, are favorite Halloween food ideas of many hosts.
Jack-O-Lantern is a latern( a lamp) commonly made of pumpkin in America. Traditionally, the lantern was made with potatoes or turnips. The vegetable was carved into a lantern which was lighted.The Jack-O-Lantern is lit in remembrance of Jack, an Irish villian, who was rejected by both God and the Devil. He had nowhere to go and wandered about. He had nothing to keep himself warm other than a small candle in a rotten turnip which served as a lantern.
Apples are considered a sacred Halloween food, as they are offered to Goddess Pomona( the Roman diety for harvest).