We’re entering a new decade WHAT?!?!?! I swear that it wasn’t so long ago that everyone was freaking out about Y2K and the disaster that was to ensue from computers not used to having so many zeros to deal with… which of course obviously didn’t happen. It seems that the older I get the faster time goes … anyone else noticing this phenomenon? This NYE imma take a chill pill and surround myself with some amazing friends and food … apparently the older I get the more mellow I get … kinda like a fine wine . Chit – chatting about New Years traditions with my friends I found out that everything from grapes to greens and black eyed peas bring luck and prosperity for the New Year. Below you will find recipes that have black eyed peas, greens, lentils all good luck foods! This year we come into a new decade on a full moon … a truly auspicious ocassion! Wishing you all a beautiful New Years Eve and a prosperous New Year!
It seems like with most things many of these New Years Day traditions are focused on (cue the O’Jays) money money money money money … money! In the south (of America) black eyed peas and greens are a staple. The black eyed peas symbolize prosperity and the greens … well we all know green is for them dolla bills yo. This combination seems to have a long history together. In the Talmud, which dates back to 500 CE (1500 years ago), it is said that black eyed peas should be eaten with beets or spinach, dates and gourd on New Years day. Black Eyed Peas are thought to bring prosperity because they swell so much while cooking. The American association with these lil peas and good luck dates back to the Civil War when a town in Virgina lay under siege and was lucky enough to find the black eyed beauties for food. On the Comida Page you can find recipes for Bharazi (Black Eyed Peas and Coconut Curry), Acaraje (Brazilian Black Eyed Pea Fritters) and cause we all know you want that money there is a Wilted Spinach Salad for you to chow down on!
Across the Atlantic the Japanese take a different approach to New Years cuisine. For them long life and good luck are the things to hope for in the New Year. Soba noodles are the traditional food eaten on this day and if you eat a whole noodle without breaking it you are supposed to be blessed with a long and fruitful year. Check out this page for an authentic and delish Soba noodle soup.
Because I’m a food nerd I talk about it with all my friends. I heard about the black eyed peas from Jay, the greens from Talib and my friend Moe told me about grapes. Apparently in Spain at the stroke of midnight folks eat 12 grapes, one for each month. If you get a sour grape watch out … that month is sure to be trying. And since Spain colonized much of the Americas this tradition is found prevalent in those countries as well.
Brazil however likes to be independent. In the land of fun and sun lentils are an auspicious New Years food. The lentils resemble coins and money so check out the recipe for Arroz con Coco y Lentajes on the Comida page to call forth a money filled new year. And in Israel Pomegranates are said to bring forth lots of abundance because of their many seeds. For a great salad recipe with pomegranates in it head on over to Mama Nes’s blog!
BEWARE there are some foods to stay away from on New Years day! Chicken is supposed to bring bad luck because they scratch at food backwards … symbolizing movement in the wrong directions … so for all those el Pollo Loco Fans out there … take a day off. And no fancy Lobster dinners either … or Sizzler for that matter … Lobsters swim backwards and also represent movement in the wrong direction … Save your schnazzy lobster date for valentines folks
Weather it be money, prosperity, abundance or a long life you are looking for have a beautiful New Year and eat up!
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