Tonight may be trick or treat candy but in Italy there are “bones of the dead,” ossi dei morti cookies traditionally served to coincide with All Soul’s Day, or the Day of the Dead (Nov 2nd). The cookies are called “bones of the dead” not only because of the day on which they are eaten but because their shape resembles that of bones!
Italians traditionally celebrate All Soul’s Day and All Saint’s Day (Nov 1st) in bitter-sweet remembrance of their loved ones who have passed away and honor their memory with family gatherings and fairs and cakes and sweets left by visiting spirits.
I found these ossi dei morti last week when I was in Milan but there are many variations of this intriguing confection. Most are crunchy and hard, crackling with pine nuts, darkened with cocoa and cinnamon, dusted with powdered sugar – resembling bones of the dead. Toast the memory of your ancestors during this two day festival with ossi dei morti dipped in a glass of vin santo. It certainly is better that eating leftover candy corn.