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6 typical Halloween dishes from around the world

Raise your hands how many of you on the night of October 31they didn’t get their hands on the box of carnival masks to go to a club or a friend’s house to party Halloween. There are several typical preparations around the world dedicated to Halloween, some even in Italy For several years, in fact, what was a traditional Anglo-Saxon celebration has reached our shores and won followers among those who never miss a new opportunity to celebrate. And so pumpkins, macabre masks, charity please, have become quite familiar symbols even to those who consider the arrival of these uses as an alteration of our traditions. In reality, the party started a long time ago and, as everyone knows by now, has its roots in Celtic calendar which set the start of the new year as November 1, a time when the boundary between reality and the supernatural world would blur, in order to allow missing loved ones to make contact with the living. At Agrodolce we have decided to tell you what typical preparations of this feast, starting from the Anglo-Saxon world and then talking about our traditions, because even here in Italy at this time (November 2) we commemorate the dead with sweets and typical recipes.

Colcannon (Ireland)

We start from the Celtic roots of the holidays then we land in Ireland. It was the Irish who brought the Halloween party abroad, when their mass migration to the new continent began around 800. The recipe we name sees as protagonists potatoes and cabbage, cooked with onions in butter and milk. A typical winter dish, collar cannon it is eaten both as a main course and as a side dish to meat dishes.

Barmbrack (Ireland)

barmb rack

We are still staying on the green island to talk about a sweet bread enriched with raisins. A curious custom revolves around this dish: during processing, a pea, a stick, a piece of cloth, a coin and a ring are inserted inside. He who finds the pea in his slice will not marry within the year; whoever finds the stick will have an unhappy marriage, full of quarrels; those who chew the piece of cloth will be unlucky and face economic problems. Instead, the coin brings good luck and money, while the ring will bring happiness to those who want to get married within the year.

Candied apple (USA, UK, Ireland)

Toffee apples

It is one of the symbols of Halloween. The apples, whose harvest takes place precisely at this time, are immersed in a syrup made from water, sugar and corn syrup, very often flavored with cinnamon. To keep your hands from getting stickier than fly paper, stick a stick into the apple to make it much easier to bite. There is also a more gourmet version: the apple is dipped in hot caramel then rolled in a grain of peanuts. The result you can imagine.

Pumpkin Pie (US)

Pumpkin pie

You say Halloween, you say pumpkin. And what better way to consume this sweet cucurbit than by making a nice cake? A layer of shortcrust pastry for the base, topped with a pumpkin cream flavored with nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. It must be accompanied by abundant and generous spoonfuls of whipped cream.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (US)

pumpkin seeds

Imagine how many pumpkins are emptied in North America these days. The seeds can be nibbled on as a snack if they have been first roasted, then salted and spiced. One leads to another, causing a harmful addiction.

Soul Cake (US, UK)

soul cake

They are small circular sweets, flavored with nutmeg and cinnamon, traditionally offered to beggars and children who went door to door in exchange for prayers for the dead. The current would derive from this ancient tradition charity pleaseit is the practice that involves the little ones and consists of asking for sweets and treats from house to house.

On this last type of desserts and recipes, that is to say those related to commemoration of the dead, our national tradition also has a lot to say. From north to south the preparations, almost all based on flour, eggs and sugar, and which often find almonds as secondary characters, overlap and continue. The best known are the death bean, white cookies that refer to the already Roman custom of offering this legume to the deities linked to the underworld, Pluto and Proserpina above all. Equally famous are the bones of the dead: from Piedmont to Sicily, the consistency and flavors vary but we are always dealing with small biscuits offered to the dead (and eaten by the living).

death bean

In Lombardy, on the other hand, the bread of the dead, a sweet bread with raisins, crumbled biscuits, dried figs and cinnamon. We have only mentioned the main ones, but each region has its say on the subject. Puglia could tell you that the colva it is a dessert made from cooked wheat, grapes, dried figs and dried fruits; and the Sicilians could tell you about the sugar puppetsfigures of sugar, flour, egg white and clove water.

  • Halloween Food via Shutterstock
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