Thanksgiving is the only holiday where the food makes any sense. We celebrate being big fat rich Americans by eating big fat rich food. Duh.
We color eggs at Easter, but we don’t eat them. We eat bitter herbs at Passover to remind us how nasty food can be. Hot dogs on the 4th of July because, well, I guess sooner or later we have to eat the rest of that pig.
On Halloween we offer chocolate to the undead. I’ve seen most of the classic horror movies, and monsters seek flesh, brains, blood—none are placated with a peanut-butter cup. The closest I’ve seen is in War of The Worlds, when the alien first peeks out of the meteor-ship. Pastor Collins, who to non-Earthly eyes is dressed quite like an adult-sized Dove Bar, raises a friendly hand and says “We come in…” and gets zapped into sparkly dust before he can say “…peace.” So much for the soothing power of chocolate.
Not that I want to change the holiday. I bought four bags of Halloween candy just last night (the good stuff, too) and I’ve already opened three of them. Quality control sampling, I call it. I can tell you this with certainty: if I had a big bowl of Halloween brains in the fridge, I wouldn’t be tempted to cheat.
But perhaps chocolate and brains will meet halfway. Due to the high cost of cocoa butter, Hershey and Mars have begun substituting vegetable oil, requiring them to change packaging to say “chocolatey” instead of “chocolate.” I checked my candy stash (hey, another reason to open a bag!) and sure enough, my Butterfinger bar says—seriously—”crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery!” The marketing department gets an A for camouflage.
Rather than take the bar back down to the kitchen, I ate it anyway. Very chocolate-ish.