7 tasty Halloween treats from around the world

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Halloween food around the world

Halloween is here again, with spooky lanterns, fancy-dress parties, fireworks and trick-or-treating.

But sweets and parties aren’t the only things to look forward to at this time of year. Discover some popular Halloween foods with busuu – and try them yourself!

Candy apples (United States)

Perhaps the most well known snack associated with Halloween is the candy apple (or toffee apple). This is the time of year for the apple harvest, so there are always plenty around. The fruit is covered in sticky sugar syrup and sometimes rolled in nuts.

Bonfire toffee (United Kingdom)

Bonfire toffee is a popular sweet treat across the UK during Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. The dark-coloured toffee is made from black treacle, butter and sugar. Homemade versions are often made in large sheets and broken up with a small hammer.

Barmbrack (Ireland)

On All Hallows’ Eve, you might enjoy some freshly baked barmbrack (báirín breac in Irish), which is a type of fruit bread. Traditionally, various objects were baked into the loaf. Each one would have a different meaning for the year ahead for the person who found it.

Pão-por-Deus (Portugal)

Also known as a soul cake, pão-de-Deus (‘bread of God’) is a small, round treat eaten on All Saints’ Day (Dia de Todos-os-Santos) on 1 November. The ingredients include raisins, currants and spices such as ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon.

In Portugal, pão-de-Deus is given to children and the poor who go from door to door singing and saying prayers for the dead. Soul cakes are also shared out in other countries and this practice might be the origin of trick-or-treating.

Dolci dei morti (Italy)

Often called fave dei morti (‘beans of the dead’, due to their shape), these little chewy biscuits are eaten by many Italian families on All Souls’ Day (Commemorazione dei defunti) on 2 November. They are made with ground-up almonds, pine nuts, cinammon and lemon zest.

Pan de muerto (Mexico)

Traditionally baked in the days leading up to the Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), ‘bread of the dead’ is a soft, sweet bread roll. It’s sometimes decorated with bone-shaped dough on top and is eaten next to a loved one’s grave to celebrate their memory.

The simple recipe can also be flavoured with orange-flower water, anise seeds or other ingredients depending on the region. Some Mexicans shape the bread into different forms, such as angels.

Huesos de santo (Spain)

Long, white, tube-shape ‘saint’s bones’ are made from marzipan (an almond paste) and are eaten around All Saints’ Day or Día de Todos los Santos. They have various fillings and are often covered in syrup, and are enjoyed across Spain in general.

What do you eat at Halloween?

Do you eat any traditional (or not-so-traditional) foods where you live? Do you have a favourite recipe that you can share with the busuu community?

Let us know in the comments!

Senior Spanish Language Expert Elena is from Salamanca, Spain but currently lives in London. She studied English Literature and Linguistics in her home town, then later studied to become a Spanish teacher at the Instituto Cervantes. She loves bread and baking, and is mad about cats and anything shiny!

57 COMMENTS

  1. i think those foods are delicious i don’t have the chance to eat them and to celebrate this very interesting moment .one day i will spent Halloween in USA and i were fancy-dress like i so in movies.

  2. My family eats mainly Vietnamese food, although every once in a while my mother may cook something else. Like others in French foods, I like pizza and Pho. One of our Vietnamese food traditions is pho, a noodle soup often served at informal gatherings of family and friends. Most people tend to eat pho on the weekends, when they have time to get together and catch up over a bowl of soup. Some people may make it at home, while others may go out to a Vietnamese restaurant. There are three main types of pho, pork, chicken and beef. There are also subtypes of beef pho, depending on whether you want your beef cooked, raw, or both. The cooked beef comes from the cow’s australian or vietnamese. When my mother cooks beef pho at home, she adds ox tails and cooks them until they are very soft, nearly falling off the bone. The ox tail is my family’s favorite part of beef pho. Raw beef pho uses very lean meat from the loins and rump roasts, which cooks once it is put into a hot bowl of pho. The beef is served raw so that it will still be soft after it cooks in the pho. Two kinds (Chicken + Beef) of pho use the same kind of rice noodles, and the same sauces and herbs may be added to your bowl. Three different sauces are usually offered with pho: fish sauce, hoisin sauce, and chili paste. The fish sauce is usually added to increase the saltiness; the hoisin sauce, a must, is added for sweetness and flavor; and the chili paste is for those who like their pho spicy. You can also add lime or lemon, bean sprouts, chopped green onions and sliced onions, and different types of herbs such as basil and cilantro to your pho. The only difference between pork and chicken and beef pho is the meat and the seasonings added to the broth. Pork and Chicken pho, though, takes much less time and is easier to make than beef pho.

    Every month, in the end of month, my mother makes beef pho for dinner. She starts at eight o’clock in the morning, preparing the beef and making the beef broth. My sisters then go to a small Vietnamese market being nearly my house called Market Tran Huu Trang to buy the noodles and a bag of bean sprouts. Pho is one of the few meals we have together as a whole family. My dad seats in his camp-chair all the day and lies in his bed all the night instead of his sickness, and my older and young sisters live with me, while we live in HCM city with my parents. Saturday is the only day of the week that we are all together to share the meals and catch up. For my family, pho symbolizes family time.

    Even the time spent preparing the meal is considered family time. We all take a part in getting everything ready, and then we all grab a bowl and get as much noodles, meat, and beef broth as we want, before sitting down at the table. We add hoisin sauce, onions, lime, bean sprouts, and herbs, and start eating. When we finish eating, we talk about what happened throughout the week, and what we are planning to do later that day or in the upcoming week. We all have our own busy schedules, and Saturday dinner with the whole family is something we all look forward to as an opportunity to slow down, relax, talk, and have a great time.

  3. As a Chinese I have never tried all those foods. I hope one day I can have a taste of all the foods above. That’ll be awesome.

  4. HAPPY HOLLOWEEN BUSUU THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR EMAILING ME AND ALWAYS EMAIL ME WHEN I NEED TO KNOW SOMETHING IMPORTANT FROM BUSUU

  5. My favorite thing was the caramel corn my mother would make that we would take to the drive-in movies to see scary movies. It is popcorn covered with a crisp caramel (brown sugar, butter and water boiled to a certain degree and until it was a nice caramel color – not too dark as that would mean that it was burnt sugar).

  6. My family have not took part Halloween in Vietnam. I have only known through English lessons and media. I am afraid of ghost very must so I do not like to participate this festival. Before when I learned English my American teacher made a pumpkin for Halloween so that all of us contemplated the ghost face after turn off the light. I also felt interest. Thank you.

  7. Penso che Hallowen non sia altro che un’ennesima mossa commerciale e mi rifiuto di festeggiarlo spendendo soldi inutili per continuare ad arricchire le multinazionali che creano “bisogni” di cose assolutamente inutili. Buona giornata a tutti.

  8. It is very interesting to know different kind of food from diff.. Countries. I note
    down some recipe,when I will free I cook them.
    Thanks
    Busuu Team

  9. Thank you busuu Team. It was very informative and enjoyable. I also enjoyed the comments. busuu is the best for education and community.
    My best to you and all,

    Ed – USA

  10. In Bacolod city, Philippines, we celebrate at the cemetery with our families and eat “suman” or sticky rice cakes on All Saints’ Day (November 1). It’s like a mini-reunion. Old people say you have to eat something sticky so your family “sticks together” or will have stronger ties.

  11. Na verdade o texto trouxe uma riqueza de costumes gastronomicos relativo a estas datas nao conhecia a nao ser os doces e a abobora com vela dentro. Vou tentar alguma receita apresentada Obrigado. Dantas

  12. En mi país y en concreto en la Comunidad de Andalucía, en estas fechas se come huesos de santo y se representa en teatro , Don Juan Tenorio.

  13. It’s a very interesting stuff. It seems many cultures around the world have got their ways to come up with something fun & special.

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