Lucky Food for Ringing in the New Year

November 20, 2017 Seasonal Tips

What better way to ring in the New year than with some good luck? Count down to midnight (and celebrate the New Year for weeks to come!) with foods traditionally believed to bring good luck. From pork to blackeye peas, here are some good luck foods to share around the table this year.

Pork

Ham, bacon, ribs, tenderloin, sausage. Whatever the preparation or cut, pork's long been considered a lucky food, for a few reasons. Pigs are hefty creatures, which symbolizes wealth and prosperity, and they root forward, meaning they push their snouts forward (never backward) when they dig, which is believed to signify progress.

for a sit-down New Year's Eve dinner, I love an easy one-pot recipe like oven-roasted pork tenderloin. Serve it on a giant platter garnished with fresh rosemary, and your main course doubles as a centerpiece! And for buffet-style parties and potlucks, nothing beats a baked ham-everyone can shave off just the amount they want.

Grapes

Eating 12 grapes when the clock strikes midnight is a must, at least if you live in Spain. It's a tradition said to have started in the early 1900s, following a grape surplus, though some argue it's been going on since the 1800s at least. Either way, the idea is to eat all 12 grapes within the first 12 seconds of the New Year. That's a fun (and funny!) tradition no matter when it originated.

Work this lucky food into your New Year's menu, too! Fresh grapes add a sweet burst of flavor to this bean salad recipe, or you can roast them to concentrate their sweetness. On a baking sheet, toss grapes with olive oil, salt and pepper, then roast at 425 degrees F until they burst and blister, about 30 minutes. They almost turn into jam and are delicious spooned over meats. You can also arrange roasted grapes on crostini (with some goat cheese, of course!) for an easy New Year's appetizer, or use them as an accompaniment for a meat and cheese plate.

Greens

Guess why cabbage, collards, kale, chard and even salad their green color, then you're right on the money. for double the luck, make a soup that combines pork and greens, like ham and cabbage soup or kale and sausage soup. Soup is one of my go-to potluck recipes, because you can easily transport and reheat it in a slow cooker.

Black-Eyed Peas

Technically a bean, black-eyed peas have long been synonymous with luck in the South, but historians have figured out that this lucky association actually dates back even further, as far back as Africa 1,500 hundred years ago. Regardless, this is definitely one to include in your New Year's Eve recipes. Go with classic Hoppin' John, a Southern dish of black-eyed peas, ham and rice (and a great way to use up leftover ham!), or try your luck at a salsa recipe with black-eyed peas, corn and tomatoes.

Happy New Year, may it be filled with good food and good fortune!

Meet Sandy Coughlin

View all articles by this author