On this last day of October, what colours do we think of?
Well, WHITE, of course, with all the ghosts and ghouls that will be out and about later.
And BLACK, so that the ghosts and ghouls have somewhere to hide.
You can’t have Halloween without ORANGE. It is the colour of Autumn and pumpkins and the warm we need as winter approaches.
Orange is a fun colour. It is also an unsophisticated colour. It is perfect for this children-focussed festival. Every available Halloween marketing ruse is arrayed in our shops – and they are all black, white and orange. Supermarkets are filled to overflowing with orange-bedecked merchandise. Except for one item – the item that is the most orange of all foodstuffs (oranges aside that is) …. CARROTS.
Purple carrots – for me this is visual dissonance. Lovely warm carrots in the most nurturing of colours, the colour of more foods than any other, are now ghoulish and cold …
But did you know that before the 17th Century purple was the colour of carrots? Yes, purple and white were the go-to colours for carrots.
In 17th Century Europe, it was the Dutch who were known for their carrot growing skills. And it was the Dutch who created the orange carrot. There is no record as to why they did this. Theories range from the political to the culinary. It might have been in honour of WILLIAM OF ORANGE. Or the fact that orange carrots proved sweeter to the taste and, as an added bonus, did not stain your pans.
So there you have it. You can never take colours for granted.