Trick or Treat: A History of Halloween Food Traditions

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 7:00pm

Americans love Halloween, and we’re all familiar with the treat part of trick-or-treating. But candy didn’t always play a central role in Halloween. Join food historian Sarah Wassberg Johnson for a voyage through the past as she recounts the sometimes-spooky, mostly wholesome origins of American Halloween foods. Tracing traditions from Scotch kale and Irish turnips to early American pumpkins and gingerbread to Victorian folklore around food and romance, all the way through to 20th-century costumes parties, “deviled” foods, and the somewhat nefarious origins of trick-or-treating. Along the way, we’ll learn how candy came to be at the center of American Halloween and the companies that popularized some of America’s favorite treats.

This program is a collaboration between Warner Library, Irvington Public Library, Croton Free Library, The Field Library, and Putnam Valley Library.

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