Happy New Year! Even if you’re not superstitious (or even, like Michael Scott, a little ‘stitious), it’s always fun to share a memorable meal with friends or family as a way to appreciate the year that’s passed—and to look forward with optimism to the year ahead. Today, we’re sharing 5 New Year’s Foodie traditions to add some festive flavor to your year-end revelry.
- Put Money Where Your Mouth Is
Whether your food resembles coins (as is the case with beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, and lentils), paper cash (like collards and other greens), or pure gold (such as yellow-hued cornbread), there are plenty of ways to cook up some wishes for good fortune in the new year. One particularly popular dish in the South is Hoppin’ John—a hearty combination of pork, black-eyed peas, and rice dished up with a side of cornbread for extra luck. Foodies looking to enjoy this New Year’s classic prepared by a pro can visit Husk to enjoy master chef Sean Brock’s authentic lowcountry take on this Southern favorite.
- Noodle Around
In Japan, New Year’s Eve revelers take the opportunity to slurp their way through midnight with bowls of soba. Long noodles represent the promise of long life, and the robust buckwheat used to make soba noodles is thought to bring additional health and prosperity.
- Make a Grape Escape
Spaniards have a sweet tradition to usher in the new year: they eat 12 grapes starting at the toll of midnight, one for each chime of the clock and each month of the year ahead. Be sure to note if any of those grapes taste a little more sour or bitter than the others, though: it could be a harbinger of a not-so-sweet month on the horizon!
- Tamales for All-es
In Mexico, any special occasion calls for the culinary celebration that is homemade tamales. These little pockets of flavor are filled with a savory blend of cornmeal, meat, and cheese can be enjoyed when shared from the homes of generous Mexican home cooks as well as from street vendors in Mexico City.
- Take the Cake
Cakes of many kinds adorn the tables of holiday partygoers, but the King Cake is one of the most popular cakes you can enjoy as you ring in the New Year. The tradition of the King Cake includes baking a ring-shaped cake that symbolizes both fortune and the year coming “full circle” with a trinket hidden inside. Whoever receives the slice of cake with the trinket inside is expected to proper in the coming year (and is responsible for bringing the cake to next year’s party!).
No matter how you celebrate, we hope you have a happy and delicious celebration. Happy New Year, and Happy Foodie Friday!
And, of course, for something a little weird…
When it comes to holiday food traditions, each country has a unique style and preference for their favorite celebratory fare. Check out this video of kids trying different holiday foods from around the world!