Witches may be associated with pointy hats and Halloween, but pagan culture is very much a real thing outside of All Hallows’ Eve. Contrary to popular belief, real-life witches don’t (usually) drink the blood of small sacrificial animals or gobble up rat tails. Witches of America by Alex Mar is a first-person study of the lives of Wiccan people in America, and NPR’s The Salt used her expertise to get to the bottom of witchy eating habits, which are, disappointingly, a bit normal: “pizza, bread, fruit, nuts, granola bars, Cornish hens, Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks coffee, leg of lamb, beer, cheese, Merlot, frozen cheesecake,” is the list given by Mar.
“Somewhere in my subconscious, probably from the Brothers Grimm, magic is performed using raw animal parts and human blood,” Mar told NPR. “And yes, folk magic in some parts of the world does use animal parts and animal blood, but when it comes to everyday food, what witches eat is no different from what others eat."
In fact, Mar’s first meal with a pagan priestess was a plate of homemade enchiladas. Offerings don’t have to be dark or gruesome. In fact, Mar said she witnessed that same priestess fill a jar with fresh cream and dark ale as an offering.
"If you could get an ingredient for a spell at a discount store, that was fine,” Mar said. “It was better to be serious about your practice than spend the whole weekend going into the woods looking for an herb that can be found in the produce section of Whole Foods."