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New Years Eve Food Traditions

Happy New Year to you from the Aroma Cucina family.

The naughts, or aughst, or whatever this past decade is called was a difficult decade for pretty much everyone so I thought a list of lucky, healthy, wealth-attracting foods might be a good idea. 

Bubbly Wine: The thoughtful French and Italians believe bubbly wine brings good luck. They also believe its good for just about everything else and why would I argue with this institution? 

Grapes: A tradition amongst Spanish speaking people, eating a grape for each month of the year is thought to bring good luck. However, grapes also symbolize fertility so be warned and take the necessary precautions. 

Foods That Are Supposed to Look Like Money and Therefore Will Bring You Money:
Cooked greens such as collard greens and kale represent folded dollar bills and will bring you wealth. Obviously this is a US tradition. So what should our Euro toting friends eat? Rainbow gelato? 

Lentils, chickpeas, cow peas, black-eyed peas, are all represent coins and wealth. When combined with fatty pork, it’s a natural wallet enhancer. Which is why Italians go for the fatty cotechino sausage with lentils, and Southern US households and those with African backgrounds reach for “hoppin” john: a black eyed pea and pork stew. 

In Turkey, pomegranate arils are supposed to represent money, which begs the question, what on earth does Turkish money look like? 

You definitely want to eat some part of a pig because eating pork is a nearly universal method of insuring wealth and a bigger waistline. 

If longevity were an objective then I’d recommend the Japanese and Chinese tradition of eating long, uncut noodles. Provided you don’t choke on the noodles, you will live a long and healthy life. Shrimp dishes also bring you long life in Japan, so a shrimp and noodle dish should do the trick. 

If you are looking to hear the pitter patter of little feet in the near future and the twelve grape method doesn’t’ work, you could also try eating some herring roe while invoking the Japanese gods of fertility. 

Next we come to the Round Baked Things category and I’m going to go out on a culinary history theory limb and say that round circles represent eternal life, and I’d like to dedicate this moment to Homer Simpson and his love of donuts. As the longest running TV show EVER, there must be something to the whole round baked theory. To recap: in Italy you can eat chiacchiere, in Holland olliebollen, in Mexico its ‘rosca de reyes’ and in Greece it’s vasilopita, and in Springfield, its jelly filled with sprinkles. 

Things You Should Not Eat:
Lobster. What? I love lobster on New Years, actually this could explain a few things. Lobsters crawl backwards and so will your luck and fortune.
Chicken: They scratch backwards and will cause you deep regret.
Winged Fowl: Your good fortune will fly away on their wings.

That should help you plan the menu. Now, as to what to wear, it doesn’t matter as long as your underwear is red. Red underwear wards off the evil eye, however it is a single-use item and you must throw out the undies the next day. The red underwear also symbolizes fertility so that could explain why the usually frugal Italians are throwing out their underwear. 

And in the interest of historical accuracy, my clan will be celebrating New Year’s Eve wearing Roman togas, as the Romans are responsible for inventing this whole New Years Eve thing. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar was responsible for introducing the 365-day calendar, which put two-faced, forward and backwards looking Janus as the god in charge of kicking off a New Year. So, don your gay apparel toga with red underwear and have a very, very Happy New Year.