DENVER, Oct. 11, 2023–Every year, neighborhoods across America embrace their favorite Halloween traditions. But in recent years, families are jumping on new trends that bring an element of surprise to our beloved traditions with potatoes.
“Potatoes and Halloween go far back, so it’s really cool to see them come back together,” said Marisa Stein, Potatoes USA
Families are taking a new spin on Halloween by painting, carving and eating America’s favorite vegetable–the potato!
Potatoes or Candy?
Want to surprise and delight your trick-or-treaters? Offer them a potato! Revelers nationwide have begun offering spuds as a fun alternative to candy. “It honestly started as a joke,” explained Pat Foy, a self-employed contractor in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. “I thought, if I’m going to give something out to kids on Halloween, I don’t want to just give them something that makes them go nuts. I’m of Irish descent, so potatoes made sense. I gave away big baking potatoes, and before I knew it, it took on a life of its own. Who would’ve thought?”
And Foy isn’t the only one mixing things up for Halloween. Families are exploring spooky spud crafts that provide new and old twists on Halloween activities.
Potatoes: The Original Jack-o’-Lantern!
It’s not Halloween without a jack-o’-lantern. But did you know this tradition started with potatoes? The Irish would carve spooky faces into spuds to scare away an evil spirit called Stingy Jack.
Modern Halloween lovers are bringing back this historic trend, sharing their favorite potato jack-o’-lanterns or jack-o’-taters. In addition to being adorable, they know that potatoes are easy to carve and affordable – so it’s easy to have a few extra on hand in case you need a redo. Like pumpkins, the potato’s long shelf-life makes it ideal for displaying your family’s carved creations. And no need to toss the potato insides! Carved out potato can be cut into small pieces for Fall Harvest Mashed Potatoes or other delicious dishes.
Spooky Spud Stamps
Because of their hardy texture, raw potatoes are an ideal craft tool for making spooky spud stamps. While adults carve the potatoes, younger artists can add their own spin to these handmade stamps by choosing designs and acting as the master painter.
“There’s always an element of child-like delight on Halloween. We want to be amazed and see things we don’t expect. Traditions like trick-or-treating for candy bars and carving pumpkins aren’t going anywhere. But it’s really fun to experiment with unexpected twists that can catch people by surprise,” said Marisa Stein, marketing director, Potatoes USA. “Potatoes and Halloween go far back historically, so it’s really cool to see them come back together, and for our traditions to come full circle.”
An all-star vegetable, a 5.3 oz skin-on potato brings to the table the highest potassium among the top 20 most eaten vegetables, nearly one-third of the vitamin C we need each day and 3 grams of plant-based protein, making it an easy choice for families reaching for healthy dishes to balance out the post-Halloween candy hoard.
About Potatoes USA
Potatoes USA is the national marketing and promotion board representing U.S. growers and importers. Potatoes USA, the largest vegetable commodity board, was established in 1971 by potato farmers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. For more information on Potatoes USA’s mission to “Strengthen Demand for Potatoes,” visit PotatoesUSA.com.
SOURCE Potatoes USA