Everyone knows we do things a little differently here in Louisiana, and Halloween is no exception. Sure, there are plenty of people who give out boring old candy for Trick-or-Treat, but the world has enough Snickers out there really satisfying it already.

It’s time for a change, America.

With that in mind, we present to you The Cajun’s Guide To Trick-or-Treating in Louisiana.


Steve hands out Skittles.
Boudreaux hands out Boudin.

Philip A. Guillory

Tasting the rainbow is fun and all, but there are only five “flavors” in a normal pack of Original Skittles and there’s still some debate on whether or not any of the colors taste any different from one another. They’re a fine treat, sure, but we can do better.

Instead of the bite-sized candies with natural and artificial flavors, try giving kids your unique take on Boudin. Ostensibly just rice, meat, and spices shoved into a natural casing, the exact flavor and texture of any given boudin can vary greatly depending on who’s making it. In fact, every Cajun on the block could give out boudin and you can bet each one would be unique.


Ralph hands out old man candy.
Boudreaux hands out bug spray.

S. C. Johnson & Son

This one might seem like an odd choice, but hear us out. Sure, there’s always that one old man on the block who hands out Werther’s Originals or Bit-O-Honey like Calvin Coolidge is still president or something and nobody likes going to his house, but if you give either of those candies a chance, you’ll find they’re not actually all that bad. It’s the same with bug spray.

The bug spray, however, is much more practical. Since fall in Louisiana ain’t nothing but summer with pumpkins anyway, you’ll probably be swatting away clouds of the vicious little bloodsuckers every time you open the door to dump a few treats into some kid’s whimsical terror bucket on Halloween night. Why not make it easier on yourself and spray down with some Deep Woods Off beforehand, then pay it forward by making sure every kid who visits you gets their own travel-sized version.

You’ll actually be helping them fight real-life vampires on Halloween, when you stop to think about it. And that’s pretty darn cool.


Becky hands out Swedish Fish.
Boudreaux hands out Crawfish.

Thinkstock

We’re not saying Swedish Fish are bad or anything, but they’re made with corn syrup and carnauba wax, so they’re probably not the healthiest of treats. Also, they’ll melt into one giant, gelatinous glob of regret if you leave them in your car too long, so watch out for that.

But why limit yourself to fake fish candy when you can give the kids in your neighborhood the joys of crawfish? Drop them live or boiled into a trick-or-treater’s plastic pumpkin and make the little tyke’s night. He’ll either have a new crustacean friend to make his life a little brighter, or a midnight snack when he gets back home. It’s a win-win for everyone!


Linda hands out Candy Corn.
Boudreaux hands out Gator Teeth.

ThinkStock

We shouldn’t really have to say much about this one. Equally inedible, Candy Corn and the actual teeth of an alligator share a lot of similar characteristics: they’re basically flavorless, joyless, spiteful little slivers of hate, but at least you can make a pretty rad necklace out of one of them.

The gator teeth, we mean. We shouldn’t have to point that out, but we live in litigious times and we don’t want to get sued after some kid gets murdered by an army of diabetic fire ants after falling asleep wearing a candy corn necklace.


Ted hands out knock-off dollar store candy.
Boudreaux hands out stale bread and bags of school milk.

Look, we get it. Times is hard and buying a whole bunch of stuff to hand out to kids you’ll just be yelling at to get off your lawn tomorrow seems like a pretty big ask. Halloween ain’t cheap. We understand.

It doesn’t have to be expensive, though. If you go early enough before they’re all sold out, you can get bags and bags of cheap knock-off candy from the dollar store that, sure, probably has Chinese lead in it or something, but what do you expect for a dollar?

The frugal Cajun, however, knows how to be resourceful with what he has down on the bayou. It’s a way of life, scratching through the mud just to dig up any old thing you can to try and make it taste good enough to eat without thinking too hard about where it came from (which probably explains how gumbo was invented), and Halloween is no different.

So don’t be surprised if you see a seasoned ol’ Cajun handing out stale slices of bread and bags of school milk this Halloween. He’s just trying to make ends meet and doesn’t see anything wrong with letting your kids get an authentic taste of Louisiana cuisine.

Alternatively, he could give you stale crackers or stale cornbread, depending on what he has laying around the house that night. Just tell your kids to smile, say thanks, and try pouring some of that milk on it when they get home. It’s better than you think.


Happy Halloween, Louisiana!