Food date: 2016.305

Not surprisingly, I can’t think of Halloween without conjuring crazy costumes, trick or treaters, and CANDY! Some may know that Halloween is associated with All Hallow’s Eve, the evening before the Catholic celebration of All Saint’s Day. But how did candy become popular for this eve of a ghosts and goblins?

Apples were understandably associated with Halloween thanks to its placement in the Fall and with games like bobbing for apples and treats like apple cider and a little later, caramel apples. Some time in the 1930’s, homeowners offered children treats like apple cider, doughnuts and taffy to deter vandalism that became popular among some youngsters. A treat to stop a trick.  As usual in our history, some other people realized how money could be made and a new age of candy was born. After all, it was easier to hand out pre-made candy then homemade doughnuts and taffy.


FFF’s or Fun Food Facts:

In the eighth century, All Saint’s Day was moved from May 13th to November 1st possibly to associate it with the Gaelic celebration of Samhain, the end of harvest and the beginning of the “darker half of the year.”

George Renninger of the Wunderle Candy Company created candy corn in the 1880s.

The first store-bought candies for Halloween were small sugar pellets, but in the 1920s candy corn became more popular.

The sugar rationing during World War II perhaps delayed the regular practice of trick or treating, but it seems by the 1950s it was popular throughout the United States.

A Personal FFF (Okay, this has actually nothing to do with food but I think it’s fun.):

Halloween also transports me back to my high school orchestra days when we played Camille Saint-Saens’ “Danse Macabre” every year for the elementary school kids. If you haven’t heard it, I suggest playing it (fortunately you can listen to almost anything for free on the internet). I play it at least a few times each Halloween “season” to get in the mood for the day’s events. For fun, read the poem that was the inspiration for the piece. Read about Danse Macabre and its poem by Henri Cazalis here.

Happy Halloween!!

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