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Foodstuffs: Lucky Food for the New Year


There are many foods you can consume to set yourself on the right course for 2017.  Most do not require cooking.  Perhaps your good fortune will multiply if you combine a few.  Here are some suggestions for twenty-four hours of charm-laden eating.

Mid-Night:  The Spanish and Portuguese eat twelve grapes as the clock strikes twelve to symbolize the twelve months of the year.  This is trickier than it sounds, and probably best left to those over the age of twelve.  You can also go Greek, and smash a pomegranate on the floor in front of the door.  The revealed seeds symbolize prosperity and good fortune (more seeds=good times ahead).  Not recommended for anyone who cares about stained floors.

Breakfast:  Eat something ring-shaped (bagels, donuts, Lifesavers) to celebrate the year coming full circle.

Lunch:  There are a lot of menu possibilities for mid-day.  In countries ranging from Cuba to Hungary, pork is considered to be the luckiest of all foods.  Pigs and their paunch represent prosperity, and pigs “root forward” with their noses.  You could also opt for roasted, whole fish.  Fish scales resemble coins (again, prosperity) and fish also travel forward.  If you are looking for a vegetarian option, slurp soba noodles without breaking them—noodles represent long life in Japan—or eat any kind of greens, which represent money.

Dinner:  Hoppin’ John is the classic black-eyed pea offering on New Year’s Day in the American south, but you could also cook some lentils, which are considered lucky in Brazil and Italy.  Both black-eyed peas and lentils are purported to resemble coins.  If you want an actual coin, bake one into a cake—whoever finds the coin gets a year of good luck, or a trip to the dentist.

For more about New Year traditions from around the world, see this article published in The Old Farmer’s Almanac from Dublin, New Hampshire.

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