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New Year's Food Traditions from Around the World

Just as I talked about those glorious hospital potlucks in my book, no matter the culture, sharing food always seems to spell friendship. That is especially true when welcoming the New Year. All over the world, there are food traditions that are believed to bring good luck for the upcoming year.

In the Southwestern United States, there's a traditional dish called "Hoppin' John" that is served for the New Year. It is a dish of pork with field peas or black-eyed peas (symbolizing coins) and rice, often served with collards (the color of money) and cornbread (the color of gold).

In Spain, as the clock strikes midnight, the tradition is to eat one grape each time that the clock chimes, they believe that it represents good luck for each month of the upcoming year. If they get a sour grape, they believe that to be a sign that the corresponding month won't be so great. The Netherlands considers "olliebollen" a celebratory tradition for the New Year. Similar to donuts, these are balls of dough containing currants or raisins fried in a deep, then dusted with powdered sugar. Olliebollen means oil balls-maybe not so healthy but sounds yummy!)

Austria and neighboring Germany call New Year's Eve "Sylvesterabend", or the eve of Saint Sylvester. What's interesting, is that Sylvester was actually a Roman who died on December 31st 335. Rumor has it, he choked on fish bones, so to be safe, no one eats fish that night. Instead, they enjoy a red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig, and decorate the table with little pigs made of marzipan called "marzipanschwein."

It's soba noodles for Japan to bid farewell to the year gone by and to welcome the year to come. This is because, in Japan, they believe that long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity. (Sounds good to me! I love all kinds of noodles!)

"Cotechino con lenticchie" is the traditional sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck when eaten on New Year's Eve in Italy. Comfort food at its finest.

It's all about pickled herring if you're in Poland and Scandinavia; they serve it rolled in vinegar with onions and pickles. Because the herring is silver, it is believed to bring a year of prosperity and bounty if eaten at the stroke of midnight.

A cake called "Kransekage" is made for New Year's Eve and other special occasions in Denmark and Norway. It's a pretty cool-looking cake with individual rings of cake stacked on top of each other to form a tower. Often, there is a bottle of wine at the center, and they decorate it with ornaments, flags, and crackers.

Tomorrow I'll share my personal favorite and the recipe too - can you guess the country?

1 commentaire

Shelly Hunt
Shelly Hunt
31 déc. 2022


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