I will start the list with one of my favorites, Grapes! In Spain, Portugal and Mexico a grape is eaten each time the clock chimes at midnight (12 chimes). The 12 grapes represent each calendar month. I wonder if 12 sips of wine counts?
Greens seem to be a popular good luck charm in most parts of the world. The color symbolizes money (prosperity) in the new year. And healthy to boot. I’ll eat to that!
Beans and Black Eyed Peas (Mom always made this) also a symbol of money (Coins) and prosperity in the new year. We would eat this every year, still waiting on that fortune. Hahaha, maybe I need to eat more greens and less beans!
Fish, especially whole cooked fish with the head and tail still intact, represents prosperity in the new year from beginning to end. The scales represent shiny coins, they swim in schools (representing prosperity) and they swim forward (representing progress). These guys are the good luck trifecta!
Circular shaped foods represent the year coming full circle. Doughnuts, Bagels, Cakes, Pies. In Greece, they bake a coin into the cake and whoever finds the coin is said to have good luck in the new year. So, go ahead, eat that yummy doughnut or cake without guilt on New Years Day! After all, it is for luck in the new year!
You mean to say, I can have pasta in the new year? Yes! It’s for your health. Long noodles, like Japanese Soba, represent longevity in the new year. Make sure not to break them or cut them up, you want to keep them long(the longer, the better). So, go ahead, slurp up those yummy noodles and make all the noise you want doing it!
Pomegranates represent prosperity and abundance in the new year because of it’s many seeds. Sprinkle seeds a in a salad. Or better yet a glass of champagne(Grapes) for double luck!
Pork is another food that symbolizes prosperity in many countries around the world. Because they are round (a nice word for fat) they represent prosperity and because they root forward (truffle hunting, anyone?) they represent progress. So, break out the Charcuterie board (Pork), have a glass of Champagne (Grapes) and toss in a few Pomegranate seeds for a triple dose of good luck!
Lentils, like beans and black eyed peas, also represent wealth or prosperity (because of their round coin shape) in Italy. So, do as the Romans do. When in Rome, right?!
Oranges and other round shaped fruits are another popular New Year tradition in many countries around the world. The round shape, again, represents coins or wealth as well as their sweetness. Don’t eat any sour ones!
Cabbage, especially green, is a popular new years food. It’s green color, you guessed it, represents money in the new year. Cabbage rolls, anyone?
Cornbread, because of it’s golden color, also represents prosperity in the new year. Throw in some whole kernels (gold nuggets) for a little extra somethin’. Serve this with some beans and greens or a bowl of piping hot lentil soup. Yum!
Here is a Yummy recipe for Red Beans from the Commander’s Kitchen Cookbook that I adapted for the slow cooker I made a few changes to accommodate to ingredients that I had on hand. Enjoy and Happy New Year!
Slow Cooker Red Beans:
- 1 pound dried red kidney beans
- 1/2 pound uncured bacon, diced
- 1/2 pound andouille sausage (I used Trader Joes Chicken Andouille)
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 5 ribs celery, diced
- 8 mini sweet peppers, diced
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 11/2 tablespoons creole meat seasoning
- 6-8 cups cold water (enough to cover everything)
- 3 bay leaves
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse and pick through beans thoroughly, and soak in cold water overnight.
In a skillet, cook diced bacon until crisp. remove from pan and add to slow cooker. Add sausage to pan with bacon grease and brown on all sides. remove and add to slow cooker.
Add onions, celery, peppers and garlic to pan and saute until browned. about 5 minutes or so. Add to slow cooker.
Drain and rinse soaked beans and add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients. Cover with lid and cook 4-5 hours on high.
Adjust seasonings. Serve over hot steamed rice or cornbread.