New Year’s Food Traditions From Around the World and a Confession about Black-Eyed Peas

PHOTO BY MARK WEINBERG from Food52 article

In Turkey, some smash pomegranates in the doorways of their homes. As the tradition goes, the number of seeds that fly out predict how much good fortune you’ll have in the coming year.”

By Ella Quitner, in her article 10 New Year’s Food Traditions From Around the World published today by Food52

Sounds good to me, but also a little worrisome: are we behind the 8-ball at Glover Gardens because our pomegranate tree didn’t produce any edible fruit this year??? It was a sorry excuse for a fruit-bearing tree. Maybe next year…

Back to the topic at hand…I’ve always been interested in other folks’ New Year’s food traditions, and grew up with some pretty strong ones. There was a firm protocol in our family: blacked-eyed peas on New Year’s Day were a must for good luck. I have to confess: I don’t really like them and have sometimes just tossed a few into my mouth like aspirin and washed them down with champagne. (I’m not sorry!!!) This may sound ridiculous, but I’ll have a vague, uneasy feeling that things won’t go well throughout the year if I skip the black-eyeds on New Year’s. It’s a thing. In fact, my Dad used to call me every New Year’s to ask if I’d had mine… I miss that.

Photo from Foodzesty blog; I might like black-eyed peas better if I was eating them in a soup like this one that has “a hint of orange juice”

If you read the article above from Food52, you’ll note that I’m not the only one who’s superstitious about luck and New Year’s culinary choices; almost all of the traditional foods from around the world are associated with good fortune.

In Spain, the tradition is to eat 12 grapes at midnight to get good luck for each of the coming months…does wine count?

Eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s is very southern (my Dad was from Sweetwater, TX, so we came by it naturally), and an accompaniment is often cornbread. Now cornbread, I can handle, especially if it’s Mary’s Magical Mexican Cornbread, which I “borrowed” from a friend and posted here last year. So yummy! And in addition to being a traditional “good luck” food, its meaty center makes it a great main dish for a hearty New Year’s brunch (whether or not you have a ‘morning after’ thing going on). Check out the recipe here if you’re looking for an easy winner for New Year’s Day. (And thanks again, Mary!)

Mary’s Magical Mexican Cornbread might go really, really well with that black-eyed pea soup from the Foodzesty blog…maybe with a side of grapes

Happy New Year! What are your culinary traditions for ringing out the old year and ringing in the new?

© 2018 Glover Gardens

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