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Boo Around the World

Global Feature
By: Anne Delatte
Boo Around the World

It's that time of year when spirits roam the earth and children scour the neighborhoods in search of the best candy bars. In the United States, we've built a spooky and sugary empire on candy corn and caramel apples, but worldwide Halloween traditions can run the gamut of trick and (more important) treats. 

Since many of these seasonal customs are built around honoring the departed, and ancestors in particular, it seems only fitting to explore recipes from your family's country of origin in creating your festive Halloween menu. Or you can simply use this opportunity to dive into America's history as a melting pot and celebrate the holiday with an exotic twist.

We believe that culinary inspiration can be found in every corner of the world. With the help of the authentic flavors of Spice Islands® spices,   you can look beyond your usual borders to discover how fun and delicious it can be to do a little Halloween traveling, all from the comfort of your own kitchen.


Though ancient pagan and Christian Celtic customs have directly shaped America's own Halloween practices today, many of the original aspects have been lost in translation. What better time than All Hallows' Eve to resurrect them? Instead of succumbing to the usual sugar overload, this year serve up some savory Irish autumn delights. Though vegetarian, this take on traditional colcannon—mashed potatoes and cabbage or kale—is hearty enough to keep you full throughout the vigil of the evening.

Colcannon [adapted from]



  1. Cut potatoes in half or 1-inch chunks. Place in large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook about 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain.
  2. Transfer potatoes to a large bowl. In cooking pot melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium high heat and add cabbage and leeks, cooking until very limp, about 15—20 minutes.
  3. Add milk, butter, cream cheese, garlic salt and pepper to potatoes; mash with potato masher or electric mixer. Add cabbage mixture to potatoes and mix well.
  4. Serve immediately, with additional pats of butter if desired.


Halloween is not exactly a traditional Brazilian feast day, but Brazilians seem generally happy to embrace any chance to celebrate. Greater and greater numbers of parties and costumes can be found springing up every October 31, also called Dia das Bruxas, or "Day of the Witches." Picadillo, a savory ground meat dish popular in Brazil and other Latin and Caribbean countries, is found at all sorts of holiday festivities in the country, making it an ideal candidate for your own Brazilian-inspired Halloween party table.

Picadillo Stuffed Acorn Squash [via



  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Split squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Brush cut edges with 1 teaspoon oil. Place cut side down on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until squash is nearly tender. Remove from oven.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and chipotle. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes until onion is just tender. Crumble in turkey; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until turkey is cooked through. 
  4. Add remaining ingredients; stir well. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally until potatoes and apples are tender.
  5. Turn squash over and fill each cavity with picadillo. Cover and return to oven and bake 20 to 30 minutes or until squash is tender.


As in many cultures steeped in Catholicism, Italy doesn't traditionally celebrate Halloween per se, but rather All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day on November 1 and 2, respectively, dedicated to remembering and honoring those who have passed from this life. Like many occasions in Italian life, these are usually celebrated with an abundance of food and gatherings of family and friends. Fave dei morti is a simple sweet treat designed to delight both the dead and the living.

Fave dei Morti (Beans of the Dead) [adapted from] 



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar in large mixer bowl. Stir in vanilla and almond extract; mix until well blended.
  3. Add salt, lemon peel, almonds and flour; stir until stiff dough forms.
  4. Pour 1/4 cup sugar into shallow bowl. Form dough into 1-inch balls; roll each in the sugar. Bake for 15 minutes on ungreased baking sheet; cool on wire rack.


St. Martin's Day, a popular European holiday celebrated on November 11, has many practices in common with our concept of Halloween, including children going door-to-door singing rhymes for candy, hollowed out pumpkins (or sugar beets) lit from inside, and of course, delicious goodies all around.  Create this Slavic bread to invite St. Martin's spirit into your own home. 

Slavic Holiday Walnut Bread 



  • 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann's® RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup butter OR margarine
  • 2 eggs
  • Walnut Filling 
  • 1-1/2 cups ground walnuts
  • 1/4 cup milk 
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Powdered Sugar Glaze (optional) 
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons milk


  1. Combine 1/2 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt in a large bowl. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120º to 130º F). Gradually add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.
  2. Remove dough from refrigerator; divide into 2 equal pieces. On lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 20 x 10-inch rectangle. Spread rectangles evenly with Walnut Filling to within 1-1/2 inches of edges. Beginning at long side, roll up tightly as for jelly roll; pinch seams to seal. Form each into a coil, tucking end under. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes or until done. Remove from sheets; cool on wire rack. Drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze, if desired.

Walnut Filling

  1. In a saucepan, combine walnuts, 1/4 cup milk, 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon. Cook over medium low heat, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat; let cool.
  2. Beat egg white until soft peaks form in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1 cup sugar; beat until stiff. Fold into walnut mixture until well blended.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

In a bowl, combine powdered sugar and enough milk to reach desired consistency.

Anne Delatte is a freelance writer and blogger. She enjoys covering food and culture in South Louisiana and beyond and has written for area publications and national sites including and Marriott Travel. Anne lives and works in New Orleans.

Spice Islands® spices deliver high quality, authentic flavors from all over the world so you can put the most delicious meals on your table.


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