Good Food and Good Fortune – Happy New Year!

29 Dec

The new year symbolizes a fresh start to many people, which is why resolutions are so common to make. I believe in setting goals and getting motivated but most of all I believe in good food, and what could be better than food that may bring good fortune? There are a number of foods that are prepared and eaten in celebration of the New Year all around the world and are traditionally seen as lucky.

  • For the Jewish New Year (which falls in autumn) you may know about the tradition of eating apples dipped in honey, which symbolizes sweetness, but we also eat fish which symbolizes moving forward, and pomegranates, associated with abundance and fertility.
  • Cooked greens (collards, cabbage, kale, chard, and more) are prepared and served at New Year’s in different countries for one simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are therefore symbolize economic fortune. Being that my mom is from New Orleans, I have a strong link to the South (U.S.) where collards, mustard and turnip greens are readily available. It’s believed that the more greens you eat the more fortunate you’ll be and with some of the delicious recipes I plan to share with you I don’t think it will be hard to do!
  • Legumes including lentils, beans, and peas also symbolize economic fortune due to their small, seed-like appearance which resembles coins and swell when cooked. Again, I call upon my Southern roots where it’s traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cow peas. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. According to epicurious.com, this all traces back to a legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi ran out of food while under attack but the residents discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky. The story kind of reminds me of the story of the miracle of Hanukkah.
  • A few more of the foods linked to New Years traditions are cornbread for gold in the Southern U.S., noodles in China and other Asian countriesthe long length of noodles symbolizes a long, luck-filled life & you must cook them whole to reap the benefits – and finally pork in many parts of the world.
  • Just as the above foods are considered lucky, there are also a few that are considered unlucky for the New Year. This may be the only time I would turn down lobster, and that’s if I’m feeling really superstitious, because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks.
However you choose to celebrate, have a happy, healthy, and successful new year!!!
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