When I was growing up and Hallowe’en came around, we would end up with bright red, blue and green fingers from all different kinds of food colouring, creating weird concoctions (that usually both looked at tasted brown in the end). Jellies, cakes, drinks – everything you could think of. I can even remember a blue baked potato one year. Now, food colourings (at least the artificial variety) have all but disappeared, leaving a wake of children in desperate need of some funky looking food.
Natural dyes have replaced those artificial ones across the board – stretching as far as TV favourite Hugh FW’s use of beetroot to colour marshmallows. More complex versions derived from brightly coloured foods like turmeric and saffron are often used in factories.
Hallowe’en now is a very different beast somehow – gone are the foods that look like zombies, guts and ghosts, replaced with a more pleasing array of dishes that are simply inspired by this time of year – roast pumpkin with sage butter (click here to check out some fantastic pumpkin recipes ), sausages with sticky glazes, sticky toffee cupcakes decorated with scary faces – transitional food that span the gap from summer through to Christmas, marking a change in the way we eat as the evenings draw in and the cold really begins.
Maybe it’s just that the food has got less ghoulish. Though you’ll have to offer me some serious bribery if you think you’re getting one of my Haribo Fang-tastics.
What are your favourite Hallowe’en eats? Are you still eating childhood treats?