If people need proof that American traditions have taken over the UK, they need look no further than this week’s theme on The great British pastry fair. That’s not to say Brits haven’t celebrated Halloween in the past; All Hallow’s Eve was observed long before here even existed. However, it wasn’t *the* fall vacation of choice. Until recently, it was Guy Fawkes Day, celebrated on November 5 with giant bonfires. Halloween was a kid’s thing, only children were dressed up, and the traditions were more like “looking for apples”. Trick or treatment? It was purely American.
But times have changed, and while we still haven’t been able to export Thanksgiving to the UK (for obvious reasons), the American tradition of adults wearing costumes and gimmicks or treats and sweets has become a must-have in the UK in the current century. So does the tradition of the pumpkin, which the country brought to hook, line and sinker, although this particular gourd is not their bag. However, the adoption of Halloween has added a British twist to festivities that were not originally part of our culture: Halloween baking.
These new baked goods mix old British autumn fruit traditions with the latest “scary” Halloween sensibilities, making this a smart theme to try for the show. (Much better than cake shops in other countries anyway.) And what’s more, that means contestants can all show up in Halloween-themed outfits, whether outfitted in costume or just a shirt to pumpkin print. Let the festivities begin.