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Feasting Florida

Enjoying a sustainable, organic, lifestyle indulging in all Florida's Cuisines throughout the seasons

Here's to a lucky you in 2018

Happy New Year!!!

10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2 1 Happy New Year.

And with those words, a new year is rung in. Time for starting over- reaching towards the dreams and hopes that linger in your heart waiting to come to pass, and the memories and thoughts of the year past that frolic in your mind. Food traditions on New Year’s Day have been around from the beginning of time.

There is an Old Southern Saying:

"Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, cornbread for gold'

Every culture has their food traditions, here are some that are very common, and why they came about!!

New Year’s Food Traditions

Black-eyed peas- shows humility, and lack of vanity and that invites good fortune. Also, since they are commonly dried, and expand greatly when cooked, expanding wealth.

Circular foods- represents things coming “full circle”- so good luck (donuts, bagels).

Coin shaped foods- such as small cookies.

Cornbread- represents the glory of gold.

Sometimes, a lucky coin is baked in bread, or, in Greece, a lemon cake.

Fenugreek- Jewish Talmud to eat on Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish new year) says to eat fenugreek. Fenugreek means “to increase” It is also similar in Hebrew to the word meaning black-eyed peas, which may be the where the tradition of Black Eyed Peas comes from.

Figs- one of the ancient symbols of fertility.

Grapes- In Spain and Portugal, eating a dozen grapes at midnight is said to be a predictor of the year ahead- each one representing a good month.

Greens- such as collards, kale and other braised greens represent cash.

Herring- silvery scales represent wealth.

Lentils- and other disc-like foods represent coins, in Brazil and Italy.

Pomegranate- In Greece, they smash a whole pomegranate on the floor in front of the door to symbolize prosperity and good fortune. The more seeds that hit the ground, the more luck.

Pork- rich with fat- symbol of progress- since they root ahead, (as opposed to turkey and chicken which scratch backwards). Also because they are rich, represents happiness.

Rice, quinoa, or barley- to illustrate abundance.

Round fruits- 12 in the US (13 if you're in the Philippines, a lucky number).

Sauerkraut- the long strands symbolize riches and prosperity for the coming year.

Soba noodles- Eat at midnight to symbolize longevity. The longer the better. Slurp- don’t chew, since chewing breaks the noodles. (And thus could affect your longevity).

Whole roasted fish- The scales resemble coins, they swim forward, representing progress.

Don't spread the "unluck"

There are several foods that should be avoided.

Some animals that locomote in a backwards motion could signal your progress moving backwards.

  • Chicken and Turkey “scratch” backwards.

  • Lobsters, as luxurious as they are, swim backwards.

Bring in the new year by toasting some Cheer

“Hope smiles on the threshold of the year to come, whispering that it will be happier”

Lord Alfred Tennyson 1891 The Foresters

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous 2018!!!


Bir, S. (2014, December 30). The true story of traditions New Year’s lucky foods. Serious Eats. Retrieved from:

Gunnison, L. (2011, December 28). 10 foods that will bring you good luck. Bon Appetiti. Retrieved from:

Lucky foods for the New Years. (2014) Martha Stewart. Retrieved from:

McClelland, P. (2014, December 30). New Year’s Day food traditions. Wishtv. Retrieved from:

© 2017 Chef Jennifer M. Denlinger

cite me: Denlinger, J. (December29, 2017). Here's to a lucky you in 2018. Feasting Florida. Retrieved from

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