I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting, upcoming food & drink events.. **********************************************************
1) Everyone has eaten candy corn and bobbed for apples, but historically these foods have very little to do with the culinary tradition of Halloween. Halloween is thought to have derived from a pre-Christian festival known as Samhain celebrated among the Celtic people. Samhain was the principal feast day of the year that began on November 1 marking the darker half of the year and/or winter.
In the 9th century, the Roman Catholic Church shifted the date of All Saints' Day to November 1st and over time, Samhain and All Saints' Day merged to create the modern day Halloween that we celebrate today with celebrations the night before.
The vigil of the feast at sundown on October 31st the night before Samhain or “Halloween,” was a night when charms and incantations were powerful, when people looked into the future, and when feasting and merriment were ordained.
Traditional dishes of Samhain were dishes like, Colcannon, applecake , barmbrack, farls and fadge with roasted apples and butter. A ring was inserted in one of the fadge cakes and it was believed that whoever got the ring would be married before the year was out.
Beat Brasserie’s Chef Ignacio Lopez will be diving into ancient cookbooks to give culinarians and interesting new view on this overlooked foodie holiday. These dishes will run as specials in addition to the Beat’s regular menu from October 26 – October 31.
“Food is always an essential part of every holiday. I’ve never heard of anyone looking into the culinary roots of this Halloween and we thought it would be interesting to see how it was celebrated before commercialism gave us bags of candy,” said Lopez.
2) South Boston’s Loco Taqueria and Davis Square's The Painted Burro face off in the next installment of Taste of the Nation’s Neighborhood Food Fights Round 5 Loco Chef Nicholas Dixon will compete against Painted Burro Chef/Owner Joe Cassinelli in a Battle to End Childhood Hunger
This Fifth Round will take place on Tuesday, October 20, from 7pm-9pm, at Lincoln Tavern in South Boston. It will be a Taco Tuesday at its finest. The Painted Burro is being featured on Cooking Channel’s “Taco Trip” with Aaron Sanchez that same evening at 10pm following the SOS Food Fight.
Tickets are priced at $30 per person and include the food created by both talented restaurants along with two complimentary drinks. Tickets can be purchased at: http://ce.strength.org/events/boston-food-fights.
3) Cook, an American bistro located in Newton, is welcoming Jonathan Soroff, columnist for The Improper Bostonian, as part of its continuing “Cook for Charity” celebrity chef series. On Wednesday, October 28, from 6pm-8pm, Soroff will roll up his sleeves and get cooking with Executive Chef/Owner Paul Turano as they serve up flatbreads from the open kitchen, wood-fired grill.
In addition to Cook’s signature menu items, the restaurant will be serving “The Soroff” special, a house-made flatbread with Italian sausage, roasted mushrooms, vinegar peppers and provolone cheese ($15). 100 percent of sales from each $15 “The Soroff” flatbread will be donated to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.
Soroff has a longstanding personal connection with the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of cancer patients, families and caregivers by raising funds to discover more effective treatments and ultimately cures for carcinoid, pancreatic and neuroendocrine cancers. There are over 100,000 people in the U.S. living with neuroendocrine cancers, and there is currently no cure.
The night of cooking is one of several celebrity chef events at Cook, all of which will raise money and awareness about a charity chosen by the specific celebrity of the evening. The regular menu will also be available on the night. For more information, visit www.cooknewton.com or call 617-964-2665. Reservations are recommended.