New Year’s Day means a new start. But more than that, it’s for food.
Around the world, when New Year comes, there are many special cakes and breads. So are long noodles (representing longevity), peas (representing coins), herrings (representing abundance) and pigs (representing good luck).
The details are different, but the general theme is the same. Enjoy your food and drink to welcome a prosperous year.
Below are some of the New Year’s dining traditions around the world.
1. Hoppin’ John, South America
A major New Year’s food tradition in the American South, hoppin’ john is a dish of pork-flavored peas or black-eyed peas (representing a coin) and rice with collards and other cooked vegetables (due to their strong color) It is often served with of money) and cornbread (golden color). This dish is said to bring good luck in the New Year.
Various folklore trace the history and name of this meal, but the current dish has its roots in African and West Indian traditions and was most likely brought to North America by slaves. appeared in Sarah Rutledge’s The Carolina Housewives in 1847 and has been reinterpreted by home and professional chefs for centuries.
The dish reportedly got its name from Charleston, South Carolina, and is a true staple of Lowcountry cuisine.
2. 12 Grapes, Spain
Spanish people traditionally watch broadcasts from Madrid’s Puerta del Sol. There, revelers gather in front of the clock tower on the square to welcome the New Year.
Whether you’re in the square or watching from home, take part in a unique annual tradition. At midnight, he eats a grape each time the clock rings. Some people have their grapes peeled and prepared for sowing so that they can be harvested as efficiently as possible in the middle of the night.
The custom began at the turn of the 20th century and is said to have been invented by grape growers in the south of a country with good harvests. Since then, the tradition has spread to many Spanish-speaking countries.
3. Mexican tamales
Made from corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and other delicious fillings and wrapped in banana leaves or corn husks, tamales appear at almost every special occasion in Mexico. But the holiday season is a particularly good time for food.
In many households, groups of women gather together to make hundreds of small packets, each responsible for one aspect of the cooking process, to distribute to friends, family and neighbors. During the New Year, it is often served with menudo, a tripe and homni soup famous for its hangover benefits.
If you live in a city with a large Mexican population, you shouldn’t have trouble finding restaurants that sell tamales on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve. It is sold.
4. Oliebollen, Netherlands
In Holland, fried balls, or oliebollen, are sold in street stalls and traditionally consumed on New Year’s Eve and special festive fairs. They are donut-like dumplings made by dropping a scoop of currant- or raisin-spiked dough into a deep fryer and dusting it with powdered sugar.
In Amsterdam, watch out for Oliebollenkraams. This is a small shed or trailer that sells packets of freshly fried Oliebollen on the street.
5. Marzipanschwein or Glückschwein, Austria and Germany
In Austria and neighboring Germany, New Year’s Eve is called Sylvester Bend, or St. Sylvester’s Eve. Austrian revelers drink red wine punch with cinnamon and spices, eat suckling pig for dinner, and decorate the table with a suckling pig made of marzipan called marzipanschwein.
Lucky pigs, or Glücksschwein, made of all kinds, are also common gifts in both Austria and Germany.
6. Soba, Japan
At midnight on New Year’s Eve, Japanese families say goodbye to the past year and eat soba or toshikoshi soba as a family to welcome the new year. The tradition dates back to his 17th century, with long noodles symbolizing longevity and prosperity.
In another custom called mochitsuki, friends and family make mochi the day before the New Year. Sweet sticky rice is washed, soaked and steamed into a smooth mass. Guests then take turns pinching the pieces into small buns to eat later for dessert.
7. King cakes around the world
New Year’s cake traditions span countless cultures. Greeks have vasilopita, French have gateau or galette des rois. Mexicans enjoy rosca de reyes and Bulgarians banitsa.
Most cakes are consumed at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but some cultures cut cakes for Christmas or Epiphany (January 6), with gold coins or figurines hidden inside. slice.
8. Cotechino con Lentchie, Italy
Italians celebrate New Year’s Eve at La Festa di San Silvestro, often starting with the traditional cotechino con lenticchie, a sausage and lentil stew that is said to bring good luck (lentils represent money and good luck). increase). Also in certain households zampone, a stuffed pig’s foot.
Top off your meal with chiaccele and prosecco, which is fried dough rolled in honey and powdered sugar. Although the cuisine has its roots in Modena, New Year’s Eve feasts are thriving all over the country.
9. Pickled herring, Polish and Scandinavian
Herring is abundant in Poland and parts of Scandinavia, and because of its silvery color, many of these countries eat pickled herring at midnight to bring in years of prosperity and bounty. Some people eat it with onions.
One of the special Polish New Year’s Eve preparations of pickled herring, called Sledzie Marynowane, is made by soaking a whole salted herring in water for 24 hours and layering it in a jar with onion, allspice, sugar and white vinegar. increase.
Scandinavians often put herring on a large midnight smorgasbord with smoked fish and pickles, pate and meatballs.
10. Kranseke, Denmark and Norway
Kranseke, literally a wreath cake, is a cake tower made of superimposed concentric cake rings and is made in Denmark and Norway for New Year’s Eve and other special occasions.
Cakes are made using marzipan and often have a bottle of wine or aquavit in the center and can be decorated with ornaments, flags and crackers.
This article was originally published in December 2012. CNN’s Forrest Brown updated his 2022 article.
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