Halloween dei Bambini a Palazzo Doglio: un’avventura spaventosamente divertente

Papassinos, copulettas and ossus de mortu: Sardinian Halloween’s sweets

Halloween brings all the flavour of Sardinian sweets to the table

In addition to the unique traditions, Halloween in Sardinia is famous for its special sweets that can only be tasted here at this particular time of year.

Let’s forget “trick or treat”, the legend of Jack O’ Lantern and the images that recall the “American” Halloween we are used to: Sardinia boasts its unique tradition, born in the shadow of the nuraghi in ancient times, to celebrate All Saints’ Eve.

The “Festival of Souls” takes on different names according to the different parts of the island: in the north, it is called “Is Animeddas” or even “Su bene ‘e is animas,” while in the south it is known as “Su mortu mortu.”

It is an ancestral and authentic festival in the region which, although it has similarities with Halloween, has developed over the centuries its own inimitable identity and a deep meaning for the Sardinians, with rituals that are handed down from generation to generation.

On the night between October 31st and November 1st, children, dressed in dilapidated clothes, visit homes asking for gifts for the less fortunate souls: homemade cakes, dried fruits and citrus fruits, as well as the snacks and sweets that have become popular in recent times, while maintaining the ritual meaning of the origins.

Another folkloric custom involves children, in the morning and late afternoon, walking through the streets of the cities wearing white clothes and carrying a sack on their shoulders. After knocking on doors, they recite traditional nursery rhymes with dialect expressions such as “su mortu mort” and “carchi cosa a sas animas” to ask for offerings for souls.

In addition, in some Sardinian communities, the custom of carving pumpkins and placing a candle inside them persists, as well as preparing the table for the dead, who are thought to return to be with their loved ones. During this ceremony, a simple dinner is cooked and the table remains set throughout the night, with the cupboards open to feed the spirits and lit oil lamps so that they can find their way home.

Gourmet Halloween in Sardinia: the sweet recipes symbol of the festival

In addition to the unmistakable traditions, Halloween in Sardinia is famous for its special bakes among which the Papassinos, the Copulettas and the Ossus de Mortu have a place of honor.

Papassinos are traditional Sardinian biscuits prepared to celebrate the arrival of autumn and to honour the deceased during the All Saints’ Day festivities with simple ingredients such as flour, honey, nuts, and flavourings such as cinnamon and orange peel.

Their shape, often themed with the holiday like pumpkins and ghosts, serves to commemorate loved ones who are no longer with us and to pay homage to the passage to the spiritual dimension.

One of the recipes includes:

  • 500 grams of flour
  • 250 grams of honey
  • 100 grams of chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • The grated zest of an orange
  • A pinch of salt

Start by mixing the flour, chopped walnuts, ground cinnamon, grated orange zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the honey and mix until you get a smooth dough. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for at least 1-2 hours, or even overnight.

Proceed to form the cookies: Traditionally, Papassinos take various forms, such as pumpkins, ghosts, or skulls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake them in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Let them cool before serving.

Copulettas are sweets in the shape of small spheres, a real delicacy made from toasted almonds, honey and sugar, whose rich flavour and crunchy texture make them particularly popular.

Prepared during the All Saints’ Day season to honour the dead and celebrate the arrival of autumn, they represent a link between past and present, and their preparation is often an opportunity for families to come together and share recipes passed down from generation to generation.

One of the recipes includes:

  • 500 grams of toasted and finely chopped almonds
  • 200 grams of honey
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • A pinch of cinnamon (to taste)
  • Grated zest of a lemon (optional)
  • Cornstarch (for finishing)

Toast the almonds in a skillet over medium heat until they begin to release their aroma and turn slightly browned and let cool. In a saucepan, heat the honey and sugar over medium heat. Stir until the honey dissolves and the mixture becomes homogeneous. Add cinnamon (and lemon peel if you like) to flavour.

Stir in the toasted almonds and mix until you have a consistent dough. Transfer it to a floured surface and form into small balls. Dip the Copulettas in cornstarch to prevent them from sticking together.

Finally, the “Ossus de Mortu” (“bones of the dead”) are special biscuits that take their name from an unusual characteristic: their bone shape.

An essential part of the Halloween celebration in Sardinia, they represent a tribute to the dead and have deep roots in the island’s culture.

One of the recipes includes:

  • 500 grams of flour
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 grams of butter
  • The grated zest of a lemon
  • A pinch of salt
  • Baking powder (optional)
  • Powdered sugar for the finish

Mix the flour with the sugar, melted butter, eggs, grated lemon zest and a pinch of salt in a bowl, and add baking powder if you want the cakes to be fluffier. Knead the dough until you get a uniform consistency. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.

Take small portions of dough and form thin, bone-like strips. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let the “Ossus de Mortu” cool before sprinkling them with powdered sugar.

The flavours of Sardinian culinary tradition at Forte Village

The award-winning Forte Village Resort, in the enchantment of Santa Margherita di Pula, is the perfect place to enjoy a memorable holiday in Sardinia and savour the best of its cuisine at the renowned Michelin-starred restaurants that are one of its highlights.

Led by international chefs, they delight the guest’s palate with dishes that combine typicality with innovation and experimentation to create a symphony of exceptional flavours suitable for even the most discerning foodies.

But gastronomy is not the only reason to choose the resort: sports enthusiasts can continue to train even on holiday at the countless sports academies that can satisfy every preference, everyone will have the opportunity to fill up on well-being with the exclusive treatments of the Acquaforte Thalasso & Spa, and the little ones will make new friends and play carefree in the Children’s Wonderland area under the watchful eye of the staff trained and certified by Worldwide Kids.

Would you like to savour traditional Halloween sweets in an authentic paradise? Discover Forte Village Resort in Sardinia

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