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Why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween?

Have you ever tried to hollow out a turnip like a Jack O'Lantern?

Image Source: (Geni at English Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) 


Well, apparently our Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving originated in Ireland about two hundred years ago.  

A trickster named Jack made a deal with the devil that he would "never go to hell."  Apparently he didn't make it to heaven either, and when Jack died, he was left wandering the highlands in the dark with nothing but a carved out turnip and a lump of coal from hell that burned eternally.  And as the tradition progressed, folks started carving scary faces in the veggies.

Since the Irish didn't have pumpkins back then, the tradition was to carve a turnip or potato and place a lump of burning coal inside. Imagine how excited the immigrant parents were when they arrived in America and discovered pumpkins were a wee bit easier to carve.

And of course, roasted pumpkin seeds are an extra bonus.   Here is our favorite recipe:

1. Once you've carved your pumpkin, separate all of the seeds from the pulp, rinse, and dry. Tip: if you're having trouble removing the pulp, let the seeds soak in a bowl of water for a bit and the pulp will separate more easily.  Also, If you want to enhance the flavor, you can soak the seeds in salted water over night.

2. Spread the seeds out on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with olive oil and salt.  We like to add garlic powder, lemon pepper and cayenne as well.  You can also play around with smoked salts for an added twist.

3. Bake at about 300 degrees for about an hour, stirring the seeds a couple of times to make sure they're not sticking or burning.

4. Cool and enjoy!  If you want to be even more adventurous, try mixing in some Olomomo Applewood Smoked Cashews for a contrasting texture and a nice added smoky flavor.  

If you like this recipe, please share this blog post or pictures of your recipe on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag @olomomo.  

Use order code OLOWEEN to get 15% off a pack of 1.25 oz single serve Olomomo's. This code expires at midnight on Halloween.  

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