January 1 symbolizes a new beginning for many. It is a chance to make a fresh start and opportunity to flourish in the coming year. Many cultures have their own beliefs as to what foods aid in this luck for the New Year. From beans to grapes, you are sure to find a food in this list that will not only provide your luck in the coming year, but delicious enjoyment as well.
In Cuba, Spain, Portugal, and Hungary, a roasted suckling pig is tradition. This is due to a pig symbolizing progress in many different cultures. Pig also symbolizes wealth and prosperity which is why many countries, including the US and Germany, opt for sausage with their New Years dinner. Sweden has a more precise pork dish, consisting of pig’s feet for luck in the coming year.
Since the Middle Ages, Cod has been a celebratory food. This may be due to the Catholic Church forbidding red meat on religious holidays. Many families have found a common comfort in cod on all holidays. Italians prefer dried alt cod, and Eastern Europeans are known for their Herring consumption during the beginning days of the year. Sweden uses fish as their main theme, with New Years dinner having a variety of fish dishes including shrimp and seafood salads.
A common Spanish tradition that has been adopted in the United States is the eating of 12 grapes at midnight. One grape for chime of the clock. Each grape is supposed to represent a different month, meaning, the flavors can be a sign of the coming year. For example, if the first grape is especially sweet and juicy, January is expected to be a wonderful month. For the full dose of luck, one must eat all 12 before the last stroke of midnight.
Beans are known to symbolize wealth and money. The United States has a tradition of eating black-eyed peas on New Years day for luck in the New Year. Some have a tradition of eating twelve black-eyed peas with the same concept as the Spanish and their grapes. Italians and Germans make an entire dish out of lucky foods and mix sausage with green lentils.
Lobsters are thought to be bad luck due to symbolizing setbacks with their habit of crawling backwards. Chicken are also backwards movers and avoided. In the Philippines, it is customary to have food left on the table at midnight to guarantee a plentiful pantry in the coming year.
The authors experience/career in food and beverage