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Irish Halloween Food

Barm Brack


Irish Halloween - Samhain

Irish Halloween - Samhain

Photo © Irish Tourist Board
There isn't just Halloween to consider in Ireland at this time Samhain is the Irish-Celtic festival of remembrance for the dead, held on the eve of November 1st. The festival does seem to have been gobbled up by Halloween but according to About.com's Guide to Ireland, Bernd Biege, an Irish Samhain is still very much in evidence.

Bernd tells us November 1st was traditionally known as Samhain, literally translated the "end of summer" and pronounced something like sow-een. This was the end of the Celtic year, the start of winter, a time for reflection, and, apparently part of a sometimes confusing tradition.

The traditional food for Halloween in Ireland is the famous

Barm Brack, or Barnbrack

as it is also know. Traditionally, the fruit studded bread was cooked with other things inside such as a ring signifying you would find true love and marry, a thimble meant sadly you would never marry, a rag predicted poverty and a coin you would be rich.Each family member would, as you can imagine, choose their piece with care.

Today supermarkets sell the bread and the only charm you will find inside is the ring.

Food plays a large part in Samhain. It is the end of October and start of November so the the harvest is in and food is plentiful. However when Samhain became All Hallows or All Saints Day, meat was not allowed so the food eaten was just about anything vegetarian.

Irish recipes perfect for Samhain.

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