Monday, December 28, 2009

New Year Food Traditions- What's Yours?

Growing up I don’t remember much hoopla or any specific celebrations on New Year’s Day

I do remember my grandmother loved the Rose Bowl parade
and watched and commented on all the flowers.
As I watch it every year I think what she would think of them
using the seeds and grasses that make up the floats today.

photo from here


A friend of mines family always had white beans with ham and green chilies.
I know some southerns enjoy black-eyed peas, Midwesterners pork and sauerkraut.

So it got me thinking about why these certain foods?

Southerners eat black-eyed peas because the shape of the bean was compared to coins, by eating these “coins’ it symbolized the gaining wealth. Because pigs are considered lucky, so they were eaten with the peas, if the year had been unlucky the hog’s jowls were eaten

Australians believe pigs are lucky because they always root forward, On the same token they will rarely eat lobster because they move backwards

In Italy, pork is served with legumes. Instead of black eyed peas they use lentils. It is believed that lentils symbolize money. Because pork is considered fatty, it is thought that it would fatten the wallet of the people who consume it.


Cabbage leaves in some cultures represent paper currency.

Two southern Sayings:

"Peas for Pennies, Greens for Dollars, and Cornbread for Gold."

- "Eat poor on New Year's, eat fat the rest of the year."

Just as many eat certain foods, many avoid foods such as
chicken because a chicken scratches for food,
or fish because your money might swim away

A many Latin countries it is a custom to place 12 grapes on a plate
and at the stroke of midnight each one is eaten. Each grape represents a month i
n the upcoming year. A sweet grape signifies that month will be good,
 a sour grape signifies the month will be bad.

So, in your family what is the traditional meal on New Years?


  1. Growing up, I don't recall any specific foods being significant for New Year's. One of Mr. Sullivan's employees used to bring in food on New Year's Day- sauerkraut and pork with dumplings. She said it was traditional. It was pretty good, but it was the only time of the year that we ever ate it! LOL And I never cooked it- we just let her bring it in! She no longer works for him, so I never eat it anymore.

  2. Try my favs!! Southern Style New Year's Day!!