The end of October means spooky Halloween desserts. But you really have to work for them. Do you have your trick-or-treat costumes on hand? Have you tied up your laces, you know you have to outrun witches and ghosts, don’t you? Halloween is a very busy time of year if you’re a little kid (even the ones that are young at heart). Maybe you even almost look forward to November being here. But then you remember the candy… And what do the different coloured Jack-o’-lantern buckets mean?
The dark blue Jack-o’-lanterns first came to everyone’s attention in 2018. A mother, Alicia Plumer, posted something on social media with the hopes of raising awareness for her autistic 21-year-old-son who would be participating in the trick-or-treating activities. She suggested use of the blue buckets for “…those who choose to use them… (they) could provide a subtle, dignified way of alerting people that this child or young adult may not be able to make eye contact, or tolerate wearing a mask, or even say ‘thank you’, but they certainly deserve to enjoy the fun of Halloween as much as everyone else.”
Similarly, the Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) group brought about the teal buckets. They were making efforts to raise awareness for another worthy cause: food allergies. While there are numerous Allergen Free Halloween Alternatives available, not everyone is able to cater to these specific requirements. As a response, groups like FARE recommend offering non-food trinkets like vampire fangs, glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark bouncy balls, and more. All wonderful options if you ask us!
For those lucky enough to be able to eat without restrictions, or have siblings who can do so, we want to talk about one of the most iconic Halloween candies to ever grace the Jack-o’-lantern bucket… the much loved candy corn. Did you know it was originally marketed toward rural communities as Chicken Feed? That’s right, and it came with the slogan: “Something worth crowing for”. Nowadays, there’s little hinting toward agricultural life on a farm. However, we do see regional variations that occasionally appear. Some of these include Eastern Canada’s blackberry cobbler candy corn, or the Bunny Corn available around Easter time. All candy corn variations are acceptable decorations for Halloween desserts. While they may not be as creepy as gummi worms, candy corn can sort of resemble rotten teeth. And these do have the potential to be quite spooky if used correctly.
Another sweet treat often associated with Halloween is the crunchy and sticky candy apple. We make these by rolling whole apples in sugar syrup, and then sometimes coating it in nuts, M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, and more. Caramel apples, also known as toffee apples, are a variation that use caramel instead of sugar syrup. Coinciding with the annual apple harvest, dessert lovers really ought to work at bringing this option back into the spotlight. While it did experience some unsubstantiated press in the 60s and 70s, the fact remains that they’re not only a delicious addition to any candy collection, but they’re semi-healthy for us!
We cover more healthy suggestions in our blog post Top 10 Healthy Halloween Options. But for a spooky detour and look at how the Jack-o’-lantern came about:
So the legend goes, Jack, a mischievous Irishman, crosses paths with the Devil late one night and is tricked into climbing a tree. Jack outsmarts the Devil by scratching a cross into the trunk, therefore trapping his otherworldly assailant. The pair eventually strike up a deal; that when Jack dies, the Devil won’t claim his soul. Years later, when it comes time to see if the Devil is a man of his word, we see he is. He refuses Jack entry into hell.However, being the Devil who does nasty things to blackberry bushes, he can’t help tossing hot coals at Jack! Jack returns to earth and places the hot coal in a hollowed out turnip to keep warm. But because he’s not allowed into heaven or hell, to this day he continues to wander and look for a place to rest his weary bones.
If you’re caught on the turnip part, we were too. As it turns out, though, immigrants to North America later changed it to the native pumpkin we’re familiar with today. Not only is it easier to carve out, but it holds a good amount of candy and toys if you’re looking to score big on Halloween night! Happy Halloween to everyone! Don’t forget to make the most of the harvest produce with traditional pumpkin desserts, spooky candies and other Halloween desserts!