Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good Luck Foods for the New Year

There is a recurring theme in all of them and it's prosperity, not good health or necessarily good luck. Pork is featured in several (not exactly luck for the pig) and apparently the thinking is: May you grow as big as a hog! Coins as represented by black-eyed peas and lentils and actual coins buried in cakes and/or sauerkraut. In no particular order, my gleanings from online sources --

France - 13 desserts which is not the sugar rush you might be thinking it is -- fruits are also considered "dessert" (candied or fresh.)

Baltimore - sauerkraut and beef short ribs. Other areas use pork ribs.

Austria - pink "pig" cookies

Italy - lentils and pork sausage

Germany and Poland - pickled herring because they're shiny and silver-colored like a coin but I'd rather be broke all year than eat one ...

Greece - a plain cake with a coin baked into it which reminds me of the New Orleans traditional Mardi Gras King cakes.

Alabama, Texas - indeed all over the South - black-eyed peas with or without collard greens or ham.

Korea - rice cake stew

China - big oranges and pears, candied lotus roots or melon, sticky rice cakes.

Cuba - black beans and rice

Spain - 12 grapes eaten at midnight

Israel - Jews eat a fish head for Rosh Hashanah -- to always be first and never the tail!

My own superstition has nothing to do with food. It's this: If you're a writer/painter/singer/musician/chef make sure you do your thing on New Year's Day so that you can continue to do it all year long!

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