What did the Irish eat at samhain? Lots - the larders were full, the year's work was done, time to dig in. Fresh meat and black pudding were plentiful. At the same time druids were munching nuts and apples to prepare for otherworldly contacts, occasionally facilitated by the odd fly agaric mushroom.
But this all changed when samhain became All Hallows' Eve. Not only did soothsaying druids become unpopular. As All Hallows' was a day of fasting, meat and meat products were suddenly off limits.
So a traditional Halloween treat would have been vegetarian. Like pancakes and dumplings, sweet or spicy, apple fritters, cakes, bread and cheese. Anything, really. But some food is "typical" for an Irish Halloween:
- Colcannon - cabbage, potatoes, leak ... and a full stomach guaranteed;
- Boxty - potato pancakes, delicious with onions and mushrooms (skip the fly agaric);
- Soul Cakes - a sweet treat;
- Bairin Breac - the amateur's Halloween oracle of choice, finding the ring promises luck.