A Spooktacular Halloween Celebration And Feast!

by | Oct 18, 2023


Halloween. The word conjures up images of witches, ghosts, goblins, and treats – especially treats! But how did it start? Halloween is actually a celebration that has evolved over centuries and, like the holiday, so has the food.
Witch flying on the moon
Halloween sweet treats.
Halloween can be traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the winter months. During this festival people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. To celebrate and honor their ancestors’, special foods were prepared which typically included apples, nuts, and cakes. Pumpkins didn’t come in to the picture until after the New World was settled!

As Christianity spread, the Celtic festival of Samhain evolved into All Saints’ Day or All Hallows Day, celebrated on November 1st. The night before became known as All Hallows Eve, which later became Halloween. The soul cake was an extremely popular baked treat and was given out to poor folks in exchange for prayers for those deceased souls.

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with smoke.
So what about pumpkins and Jack-O’-Lanterns? As it turns out this is a more recent tradition. Originally started in Europe, lanterns were carved from turnips and other root vegetables. The Irish brought this tradition to America and discovered how much easier it was to carve a pumpkin. From then on carving pumpkins has become one of the defining moments of Halloween.

Pumpkins are native to North America – the oldest seeds we know about go back to Mexico 7000 years ago — and the indigenous peoples introduced them to European settlers. They were considered one of the “Three Sisters” along with beans and corn. That trio not only sustained populations, it grew together in an amazing agricultural display: The corn grew tall, so it became a trellis for bean plants to climb. The pumpkins filled in below to provide cover and mulch for the beans and corn.

Today the U.S. alone grows 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin every year. Illinois is the top pumpkin producer, producing over 600 million pounds annually.

Every part of a pumpkin is edible and nutritious — rich in potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.

Halloween trick or treat bag.
Halloween candy corn.
Trick or treating started in 16th Century Scotland and Ireland – but kids had to bring a little song or dance along with the costume to get a treat. In North America, modern trick or treating started in Ontario, Canada in 1911. The first recorded use of the phrase “trick or treat” is also from there in 1917.

And of course what would Halloween be without parties? Halloween has become as much an occasion for adults to celebrate as kids. Parties are where food really shines with themed goodies and beverages. So let’s get this party rolling!

What party would be complete without an adult beverage? Check out Chocolate Pumpkin Coffee Martini. The shot of Irish Crème doesn’t hurt either — or skip it for a nonalcoholic treat.
Like your food looking back at you? Here’s Looking At You Tomato Soup may be just what the eye doctor orders. If spiders don’t freak you out, Spider Deviled Eggs make a cute little addition to your ghoulish table.
What’s for dinner? Give Creepy Pretty Feet Meatloaf a try, it may satisfy the werewolf in you.
You’ll need a special dessert of course – we recommend Ghostly Graveyard Cake, sure to delight the little kid in all of us.

Need an arts and craft project for the little ones? Witchy Popcorn Balls have you covered.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Where The Food Comes From!