Hello hello, Steamy Spirits!
I’m Drey, Jaden’s resident Writer & Creative Content Wizard. Some of you may remember me from a few of my guest-blogs last year. Well, I’m back! And because, admittedly, I’m the horror movie enthusiast and spooky-loving weirdo on the SK team, and also a BIG fan of this time of year, Jaden has been so kind as to allow me to take over a part of her amazing blog for the month of October! Yes, for the next few weeks, consider me your ghostly guide and join me as I haunt Steamy Kitchen with weekly posts, exploring all things food, fun and Halloween hijinks!
First, let me start out by recommending my new favorite spooky-time playlist to set the autumn vibes.🍂☕️
Be sure to grab a blanket and a cup of pumpkin spiced tea, and get cozy as we delve into festive food traditions celebrated around the world during the haunting season of October.
Remember the days when Halloween meant bobbing for apples and getting a sugar rush from candies? Well, it turns out this beloved spooky season isn’t just about dressing up and trick-or-treating. Just like us, ghouls and goblins around the globe have their favorite munchies, too. Let’s embark on a culinary journey, following the wafting aromas of Halloween foods and October feasts from various corners of the world. Hold onto your broomsticks (and your taste buds)!
Every nation has its cherished rituals, but the Irish? They weave magic into their munchies.
The Emerald Isle is rich in myths, legends, and perhaps unsurprisingly, baked goods with a side of mysticism. Picture this: a chill in the air, leaves crunching underfoot, and a loaf of Barmbrack on the table, whispering tales of what’s to come. Barmbrack, or “Brack” as it’s often shortened to, is more than just a fruitcake; it’s a delicious dive into one’s future. Traditionally eaten around Halloween, this rich bread laden with dried fruits and spices captures the spirit of the season. And the little trinkets baked inside? They’re the best part! From coins predicting wealth to that elusive ring hinting at imminent romance, every bite holds a surprise (though biting cautiously is advised!).
If you’re looking to make some Barmbrack of your own, check out Bake It With Love’s delicious recipe here!
Italy: Ossa dei Morti
Land of art, romance, and culinary wonders, Italy never disappoints – even when it comes to the macabre. As the golden Italian autumns set in, families honor their ancestors in deliciously haunting ways. During this time, Italian bakeries are graced with the aromatic presence of “Ossa dei Morti” or “Bones of the Dead.” While they sound rather macabre, these cookies are a delightful crunch of almond and sugar. Created in memory of departed loved ones during All Souls’ Day, they’re a poignant, tasty reminder that Italians not only know how to celebrate life but also honor the departed with culinary finesse.
Looking to bake up some bread bones of your own? Click here to check out Savoring Italy’s delectable recipe!
Mexico: Pan de Muerto
If there’s one place that truly celebrates the departed with gusto, it’s Mexico. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a vibrant tapestry of traditions, colors, and of course, flavors. The centerpiece of this delicious array is the Pan de Muerto. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill bakery bread. Infused with orange blossom water and anise seeds, it’s a fragrant tribute to those who’ve passed on. Traditionally, families share this bread while sharing tales of their ancestors, making every bite a blend of sweetness, nostalgia, and love.
Want to share your own Pan de Muerto? Learn how to make it here from Mexico In My Kitchen.
China: Teochew Png Kueh
In the heart of the East, where dragons dance and legends come alive, the Hungry Ghost Festival bridges the realms of the living and the departed. Celebrated during the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar, typically around August, this festival sees streets and homes adorned, not with Jack-o’-lanterns, but with lanterns guiding spirits home. Among the delectable offerings is the beloved Teochew Png Kueh. These are glutinous rice cakes filled with a savory mix of peanuts, dried shrimp, and mushrooms, then beautifully shaped like a peach, symbolizing longevity and prosperity. A delicacy often enjoyed during significant Chinese festivities, its association with the Hungry Ghost Festival adds a layer of mystique. The festival itself is a harmonious blend of reverence and celebration, and these delicious pink treats embody that essence: creating harmony between worlds.
Have a hungry ghost you’re looking to feed for this celebration? You can find Wok & Kin’s recipe here!
Romania: Mămăligă and Sarmale
Romania, the land of dense forests, ancient castles, and, of course, the legendary Count Dracula. With such a rich tapestry of myths and legends, it’s only fitting that their Halloween food offerings are equally enigmatic. While neither Mămăligă (a cornmeal porridge) nor Sarmale (cabbage rolls) might seem overtly Halloween-ish, they are traditionally consumed during times of celebration and remembrance. During Halloween, when tales of the supernatural are shared, families gather to enjoy these hearty dishes. Mămăligă, with its golden hue, serves as the perfect base for rich stews, while the savory Sarmale, meat-filled cabbage rolls, are said to keep away evil spirits. It’s comfort food, Romanian style, ensuring both the living and the spirits are well-fed and content.
Want to make your own delicious Sarmale? Check out The Romanian Cookbook’s traditional recipe!
Isn’t it hauntingly beautiful? Every October, as we delve deep into the world’s mystical traditions, I’m reminded of an enchanting truth: this spooky season, in all its ghostly glory, has a way of drawing us all closer. No matter where we hail from or the legends we believe, there’s a thread of unity—an ethereal pull that beckons us to gather, remember, celebrate, and share. For me, it’s not just about the chills and thrills, but the heartwarming moments and stories that food brings to our tables.
So here’s a toast from your ghostly host: to tales that chill, plates that thrill, and memories that fill. Whatever you celebrate, may your season be warm and spooky!👻🎃