Embrace traditional Halloween treats from all around the globe this October – which will be your favourite?
Whether you’re looking for a decadent nibble to celebrate Halloween, or just want to try something new, these seven spooky treats from around the world are sure to satisfy.
At Hotel Chocolat, we love taking inspiration from treats and cuisine from around the globe. With so many flavour combinations and textures to explore, we can learn from different communities and ingredient pairings.
Halloween might be a time of costumes, ghouls, and trick-or-treating, but it also has a rich history and prominence in a wide range of cultures. The holiday is packed with traditions and rituals dating back thousands of years – and often featuring delicious treats. Read on to learn about a few of our favourite Halloween foods from around the world.
For seasonal gifts that all chocolate lovers are sure to adore, don’t forget to take a look at our Halloween gifts.
Halloween food from around the world
Many of us know about candy corn, Halloween chocolate, and pumpkin pie but there are so many other seasonal snacks out there. Will you incorporate any of these into your Halloween celebrations this year?
Colcannon and Barmbrack from Ireland
Halloween has been celebrated in Ireland since ancient times. In fact, some of the most iconic Halloween traditions, such as Halloween costumes and pumpkin carving, actually have their origins in Ireland.
Two other Halloween traditions with Irish roots are colcannon and barmbrack.
Usually featuring kale or cabbage, colcannon is a comforting mashed potato dish, ideal for cold autumn nights. As a result, it’s become a Halloween staple, and many people serve colcannon alongside sausages or ham.
Barmbrack is a type of Irish fruitcake filled with raisins, currants, and sultanas, as well as spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. Historically, unmarried women would receive barmbrack on Halloween night. They’d need to chew carefully, as there might be a little something baked inside! If she found a ring in her slice of cake, it indicated she’d be married within a year. A thimble, on the other hand, suggested a life of singledom!
Soul cakes from Britain and Ireland
Small and round, soul cakes are a traditional Halloween treat in many European countries but they’re thought to have originated in Britain and Ireland. Hundreds of years ago, poor people would receive the in exchange for prayers. The practice of ‘souling’ later evolved into trick or treating.
Why not try baking your own soul cakes this Halloween? You could even drizzle a little melted chocolate for added decadence.
Fave dei morti from Italy
‘Beans of the dead’ or fave dei morti are Italian cookies reminiscent of macarons. Made with almonds, and often rum, they are petite, round, and delicious. While they might not have anything to do with beans now, they hark back to an a tradition from Ancient Rome. The Romans would offer beans to appease spirits and honour dead relatives on All Souls Day (1st of November).
These little biscuits are said to represent the souls of the dead and are still popular around Halloween. With a hint of tipple, this recipe from Food 52 is a tasty one for the grown-ups.
Pan de muerto from Mexico
While we may know October 31st as Halloween, in Mexico, people celebrate El Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead on the 1st or 2nd of November.
On the Day of the Dead, families remember and honour their deceased loved ones by preparing special foods like pan de muerto, a type of sweet bread.
Usually round, pan de muerto features a spiral design on top to symbolise the cyclical nature of life. People often add decorations shaped like skulls or bones to represent death.
By celebrating death in this way, they remind themselves that life is precious and should be enjoyed to the fullest.
Huesos de santo from Spain
In Spain, Halloween is a time for a special treat known as huesos de santo, or “saint’s bones.” As with other predominantly-Catholic countries, people in Spain celebrate All Saints Day on the 1st of November, rather than Halloween on the 31st of October. However, huesos de santo can make a delicious treat any time of year!
Made from marzipan, these ‘bones’ have a sweet filling of egg yolk cream.
If you’re a marzipan fan who enjoys a hint of chocolate, why not try our irresistible Marzipan Chocolates? With four aromatic, chocolate-covered marzipan varieties, it’s a sophisticated way to enjoy this unique treat.
Candy apples from the United States
Also popular in the UK, candy apples (or toffee apples as we refer to them), are another long-standing Halloween treat. After skewering an apple with a lollipop stick, confectioners coat the entire fruit with a layer of melted candy. The coating usually consists of sugar and corn syrup.
Once the candy hardens into a glossy shell, you can revel in the gooey crunchiness of every bite!
But where did this confectionery come from? Many believe candy apples were first made in America in the 19th century. At that time, sugar was a luxury item and only available to the wealthy, so making candy apples was a way to show off one’s wealth and status.
Today, they are still a popular Halloween treat and you can usually find them in supermarkets, alongside chocolate-dipped apples.
Bonfire toffee from the UK
Sticky, sweet, and crunchy, bonfire toffee (also known as cinder toffee) is delicious yet unforgiving on the teeth! So called because of its popularity around Halloween and Bonfire Night, bonfire toffee consists of treacle, along with butter, baking soda or cream of tartar, and sometimes white vinegar.
It has a unique flavour and texture and has been around since the 1660s, when treacle was introduced to Britain.
Delicious Halloween chocolate and treats from Hotel Chocolat
With so much history, it’s no wonder Halloween has inspired so many delicious treats. A classic one we haven’t discussed here is chocolate, of course.
Now one of the most popular Halloween gifts, chocolate is a versatile seasonal treat. Individually-wrapped chocolates are perfect for handing out to trick or treaters but chocolate also makes an excellent addition to autumn baked goods. If you’re throwing a Halloween party, our Choose Your Poison is a fun way to share 36 terrifyingly tasty filled chocolates. Or, for an elegant party favour, there’s always our Pumpkin Pie Selector or Orange Macarons.
If you want to avoid overdoing it on the sugary bonfire toffee, our high-cocoa chocolate can be a great alternative. By focusing on more cocoa, less sugar, our Halloween chocolate makes an excellent treat for children. We’re sure they’ll adore our Wingston the Bat dark chocolate characters and fabulous 40% Yumpkin.
In addition, what’s better than coming in from a chilly night of trick-or-treating and whipping up a comforting mug of drinking chocolate? Embrace seasonal flavours with our Autumn & Winter Hot Chocolate Selection Box as you get snug in front of a creepy Halloween movie!