I attended a Halloween special at the New York State Museum the other night, part of the perennially popular series known as Cooking the Tree of Life. The topic this time was the food origins of certain "monster myths": vampires (pellagra from corn), zombies (potion of pufferfish, cane toad, and the so-called Zombie Cucumber), and the witches of Salem and elsewhere (ergot on rye). We got to see our Museum scientists dressed up as ax murderers and vampires (the one who emerged from an upright coffin literally hailed from Transylvania!) and partook of some safer samples (a variety of delicious dishes including corn, cucumber, and rye bread) expertly prepared by a chef from the Food Network. Watch what you eat now and don't be spooked by today's typos, which, I hasten to add, are found 12 and four times apiece in OhioLINK, and 103 and 18 times each in WorldCat.
(Zombie Cucumber, also known as Jimson Weed, Hindu Datura, Indian Apple, Sacred Datura, or Thorn Apple, from Wikimedia Commons.)