It’s hard to “Remember, remember the fifth of November” (as the old nursery rhyme goes) if you’re not familiar with Guy Fawkes Night (a.k.a. Bonfire Night). This British celebration commemorates a foiled attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on the evening of November 5, 1605, and it’s celebrated by setting off fireworks and burning effigies of Guy throughout the UK. And, like most holidays, Guy Fawkes Night comes with its own menu of treats.
Here in Brooklyn, a bar called Pacific Standard is hosting a Guy Fawkes celebration on Monday, and anyone who brings or wears something related to the holiday will enjoy dollar-off drinks all night. Since Pacific Standard is going to have several beers on tap from Sixpoint Craft Ales, my favorite local brewery, I’m researching some potential foods I can whip up—but many Bonfire Night recipes include ingredients that are hard to find in the States.
Yorkshire Parkin, a ginger cake, requires golden syrup, a thick, amber-colored sugar syrup. (O Chef recommends seeking this stuff out for optimum flavor, but if you can’t find it, you can substitute “2 parts light corn syrup and 1 part molasses or equal parts of honey and light corn syrup.”) Treacle Toffee includes one-quarter cup black treacle, which is similar to blackstrap molasses.
For those who’d like to cook up a Bonfire Night dinner but don’t have easy access to a British specialty food shop, BBC Food offers a list of more accessible comfort-food recipes, from mini jacket potatoes to curried parsnip and apple soup.