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Traditional Foods for New Year’s that Bring Luck, Love and Money

Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

The New Year marks a time for new beginnings, and a time to renew our hopes for love, luck and/or money. America is the melting pot of many cultures, and with all those cultures come their New Year’s traditions, or as I call it “our crazy food superstitions.” The biggest one is our belief in that by consuming something, it might bring us love, luck and/or money. Here are a few of our New Years food related superstitions.

Black Eyed Pease & Cornbread
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Black Eyed Peas & Cornbread


The most popular New Years food is the Black Eyed Peas and cornbread. By eating black eyed peas on New Years day it's believed to bring the person good fortune. Originally, Italian green lentils were used, as they are round and represent coins their green color represented paper money. At some point in time the "lentils" were replaced by black eyed peas. It's also believed that Black eyed peas, cornbread and collard greens are the traditional Southern dish in America. Some southerners (like my wife Donna) say that sweet cornbread will bring good health in the new year.

Fried Cabbage
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Cabbage or Collard Greens


Cabbage, collard greens, spinach and kale are all said to be for the green folding money, and it's not hard to see why these leafy green foods are paralleled to a New Year's superstition of bringing you something. Good luck on this one.

Donna's homemade sauerkraut
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Sauerkraut for Fortune and Fame


This one was told to me by different people one of polish decent and the other of German heritage. They said, that consuming sauerkraut is said to bring you "fame and fortune" together. Nonetheless, the correlation between the sauerkraut and the "fame and fortune" is derived from the fact that cabbage is green and leafy and the sauerkraut takes practice and patients to perfect. I'll have mine with a good Polish dog please.

Photo by: Rudy Fernandez
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Corned Beef or Pork Roast


In an effort to show the symbolism of America's opulence eating meat showed you believed the year to come is bringing you lots of wealth and happiness. If you partake of any meat let it be pork instead of chicken or beef. It is fact that when a pig has it's snout to the ground, it is searching for something new to eat and is always moving in a forward motion. Unlike chickens that scratch backwards and cows that don't move and are symbolic of stagnation. Many other nationalities like Germans, the Swiss, Italians and the Irish all eat pork because of the fatty meat is also symbolic of fattening wallets.

Photo by: Rudy Fernandez
Photo by: Rudy Fernandez

Bunuelos For Love, Luck and Money


This is from my Hispanic heritage, as long as I can remember my late mom and all my Tia's (aunts) would slave in a kitchen all day putting together a grand feast we would all eat after midnight Mass. The one thing we kids wanted to make sure we got our hands on, were the Bunuelos, most Latin countries answer to fritters (or rather a crispy version of a sopapilla). In reality the dish originated in Europe, a deep fried flour tortilla that is covered in sugar, cinnamon and other spices. I recall many years not getting what I really wanted for Christmas and my last and final hope lied within the Bunuelos. Somehow if I could consume one of those tasty treats, maybe, just maybe my luck would change and I could get what I really wanted. To this day, just the smell of Bunuelos will evoke memories and unleash my imagination.


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