Want to get lucky for the New Year? Try eating good-luck foods! For centuries, people around the world have created superstitious traditions around certain foods thought to bring good luck — namely money, prosperity and plenty to eat. Here’s a sampling of some of those fortunately fortuitous foods:
In many cultures, green leaves represent money, a symbol of economic good fortune. Supposedly, the more you eat the greater your wealth in the New Year. Not sure about that but leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses so eating lots of them can be a boost for your health.
Small beans, peas and lentils are symbolic of coins and are believed to bring financial rewards when eaten. In Italy it’s customary to eat lentils with sausages after midnight. In Germany, pork and lentils or split peas are a common good luck meal. In Brazil, lentils and rice or lentil soup is the first meal to celebrate the New Year.
- French Lentils with Onion and Carrot
- Collard Greens with Lentils, Tomatoes and Indian Spices
- Lentil Chili
- Lentils, Brown Rice and Caramelized Onions
- Split Pea and Sweet Potato Soup
In Japan, black beans are eaten at the first of the year.
During the Civil War the town of Vicksburg, VA, ran out of food while under attack. Apparently, the residents of the town discovered black-eyed peas and thereafter the legume was considered a lucky food.
Pigs symbolize progress. In Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Austria, roast suckling pig is served on New Year's Day. The Germans love pork sausage, and in Sweden, pigs’ feet are often on the menu. Because of its rich fat content, pork is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
In Spain in 1909, a tradition of eating one grape for each stroke of the clock began. The practice spread to Portugal, Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru. Each grape represents a different month; if one of the grapes happens to be bad or sour, it means the corresponding month in the coming year will be the same. Yikes!
What’s your favorite good luck food for the New Year? Got a recipe? Let me know.