When we think of holiday food traditions, we’re often reminded of our Thanksgiving pie or Christmas ham. But, let’s not forget the importance of observing food traditions during New Year’s celebrations – after all, it could set the tone for the next 365 days!
I’ve written before regarding my childhood food traumas associated with sauerkraut. And, unfortunately, when you hate sauerkraut as a child, New Year’s is a dreaded holiday because, in Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, a plate full of pork and sauerkraut is said to usher in a year full of luck and prosperity. This is supposedly because pigs never look back. But, my bigger concern usually involved finding ways to cover up the potent flavor of sauerkraut, among increasingly larger portions of mashed potatoes and butter. Another good family tradition involves consuming a foot-long length of sausage. Although, to be honest, I never saw anybody actually do this.
Cultures all over the world each have their own food traditions to ensure that the New Year is filled with good luck: collards and black-eyed peas in the south; long noodles in China; and honey breads and donuts across Europe. There are also foods that certain cultures avoid eating: lobsters because they float backwards and chicken because they scratch backwards.
As for myself, I will be ringing in the New Year by trying to face my childhood trauma head-on. But, I’ll be incorporating some more modern tweaks to my family’s tradition, now that I’ve discovered that sauerkraut can actually taste good – thanks to Olykraut – and pork doesn’t need to taste dry and bland – thanks to the Willamette Meats bacon-wrapped port filets.
As you prepare to ring in the New Year, make sure to take a moment to think about how your meals also will contribute to your goals for 2014. And, make sure to stop by Stockbox to stock up on your last minute holiday needs, from bubbly drinks to sauerkraut, or beans.
Need inspiration for lucky foods? Check out this this Epicurious article.
Image from “Eat your lucky pork and sauerkraut”