No Tricks, Just Treats: 6 Halloween Recipes From Around The World

This year has been many things, but one of its outcomes has been a baking boom. While we’ve already endured enough tricks for the whole decade, thank you very much, we’ve compiled a list of frightfully tasty seasonal foods from around the world that you might want to try your hand at this Halloween – from bread for the dead, to biscuits that look like bones…

Barmbrack, Ireland

 

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In Ireland, a barmbrack is a traditional sweet loaf speckled with dried fruit and often steeped in tea. Around Halloween, families would share a loaf that had trinkets baked inside and each one represented a different fate for whoever found it – a ring indicated marriage and a penny bestowed luck or wealth, however a thimble meant no marriage and a rag suggested poverty! Such items aren’t usually included in the recipe anymore, but a slice still makes for a comforting autumn snack – often toasted and topped with butter or jam.

Soul cakes, UK

 

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Long before trick or treating became established as a Halloween tradition in the UK, children – usually the poorest – would go ‘souling’ on All Souls’ Day (2nd November). This would consist of knocking on doors and offering a song, prayer or performance in exchange for a soul cake – a spiced biscuit topped with currants and a decorative cross. Some also believed that eating one would release a soul from purgatory.

A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!
An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry.
One for Peter, two for Paul
Three for Him who made us all.

Pan de Muerto, Mexico

 

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Mexico is well-known for its celebrations for the dearly departed – one of the country’s largest events is the Day of the Dead on the 2nd November, which is recognised by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Part of the festivities includes baking pan de muerto, which translates to ‘bread of the dead’. There are a few different variations of the sweet bread throughout the country, but it generally consists of orange and aniseed flavours and is topped with glazed shapes resembling bones and tears. In addition to the living devouring the bakes, families tend to leave a loaf out on the graves or shrines of their deceased relatives for their visiting souls to enjoy…

Fiambre, Guatemala

 

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Mexico’s neighbour, Guatemala, also celebrates the Día de los Muertos, however it offers up its own traditional dish for the gatherings. Fiamble is a cold salad that can include up to 100 ingredients; one story claims that this is because families would take so many separate dishes to the graves of their loved ones that they eventually combined them all to make one large, easily transportable dish, plus it means that there’ll surely be something in there that they’ll like. The salad can include prawns, chicken, chorizo, potatoes, eggs… the list goes on and on!

Ossi di Morto, Italy

 

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Translating to ‘bones of the dead’, these cookies are usually enjoyed in Italy on All Saints’ Day, but we think they make for a great addition to a Halloween celebration or film night in the UK too. They are usually flavoured with almonds and decorated with powdered sugar, but variations include chocolate and coffee. Some are moulded to resemble bones, while others are made into simple oblong shapes, some are crunchy (like their namesake…) and others can be chewy – however you make them, they’re divine dipped into a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Huesos de Santo, Spain

 

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Spain boasts its own sweet bone-shaped treats, however their name translates to ‘holy bones’ or ‘saint’s bones’, because they are typically consumed on All Saints’ Day. It might even be argued that they’re made to appear even more realistic than the Italian version… A hollow tube of white marzipan is filled with a ‘bone marrow’ paste of egg yolk and sugar. Trick or treat yo’self.

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About Marianne
Marianne

When Marianne isn't writing about all the wonderful places you can visit through dealchecker, she enjoys exploring London, visiting scenic spots within the UK and adventuring further afield whenever possible!

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