Culinary Traditions Ring in the New Year
What is the meaning behind some of our New Year traditions?
For most, the New Year means just that, a new year where we can start with a clean slate. Superstitions abound at this time, including the idea that if we clean on New Year's Day, we will sweep away our chances at striking it rich.
Throughout history, different cultures have come up with dishes to bring this good fortune to us, and though the cultures may be different, the foods are the same.
From Epicurious.com, here's the meaning behind some of these dishes and how different cultures have adapted the foods to fit their menus:
Greens: Cooked greens look like money. Hence, the more you eat, the more wealth will come your way. In the South, it's good 'ole collard greens, while Denmark serves kale with sugar and cinnamon and Germany prefers sauerkraut.
Legumes: Bean symbolize money. Here, we eat black-eyed peas, while Italy serves sausage and green lentils; Germany prefers split pea soup with sausage; and Brazil serves lentils and rice.
Pork: Pigs symbolize, with their forward-rooting ways, prosperity and progress. Here, the pork possibilities abound, while roast suckling pig is served in Hispanic countries, pig feet are served in Sweden and sausage rules the day in Germany.
Pastries: While not as significant here over the holiday, round cakes symbolize eternity. Donuts are popular in the Netherlands while Greece serves a cake with a hidden coin.
Foods to avoid on New Year's are backward-moving lobsters and chicken and birds who can fly good luck away.