Turn to turnips this Halloween, says English Heritage

Paul Snell is managing editor at Supply Management
27 October 2015

The turnip could be the solution to a possible shortage of pumpkins at Halloween.

A potential shortage of pumpkins has been reported due to heavy rain in the UK in August, which affected the crop.

English Heritage has suggested people turn to the traditional vegetable, which used to be carved and placed in doorways to frighten away evil spirits. This tradition was later taken to the US, where it was discovered the pumpkin was easier to carve.

Michael Carter, historian at English Heritage, said: “I don’t think turnips are going to replace pumpkins, they are more difficult to carve, but hopefully people will remember the turnip and all our other rich traditions this Halloween.”

The practice of carving vegetables is based on a folk story where a man called Jack was forced to wander the earth with a burning coal inside a turnip after trying to trick the devil, hence the term “jack-o’-lantern”.

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