Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Food Lore

Most likely, if you've been reading my blog posts and checking out the Folkheart Press website, you know that folklore revolves around important aspects of life. This includes life cycles like birth, marriage, retirement and death AND significant acts of daily living.

Well, can you think of anything more significant than food? Okay, there's shelter, clothing, etc. But that's usually not what most people are interested in. Of course, some people are riveted to architecture and contemporary or folk art fashion trends, but, really, who doesn't have at least some interest in the food they eat?

Food is a pretty basic fact of life that has taken on many different tones around the world. What is traditional in one culture may be taboo in another. For example: pork is a pretty common ingredient in Asian meat dishes... in kosher households its forbidden.

Every culture has rules, legends, myths and tales about what it consumes and how those food items are prepared. Some dishes are medicinal, others are designed to attract wealth and/or fertility, while others are imbued with all of the above and then some.

In researching food lore associated with the New Year, I came upon these golden kernels (no pun intended) of food lore. Enjoy then and if you have some to add to the list, let me know.

• Italian fried pastry ensures a sweet year.

• Pennsylvania “Dutch” (German) tradition suggest that together pork and sauerkraut bring good luck.

• Polish fans of pickled herring say that the first bite of herring in the new year bring prosperity.

• China: Be sure to leave some sticky sweet foods for the Kitchen God who makes household reports to the deities.

Happy Eating!


  1. And if you are in the Southern half of the USA, be sure to eat collard greens for money and black eyed peas for good luck.

  2. DeAnna, I bet you've got some stories to tell!