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Hoping for a Prosperous New Year? Try Pickled Herring and Collard Greens

December 31, 2011

The first day of a new year is a time to reflect on exciting new beginnings and anticipate what’s to come. If you’re hoping for a bit of extra luck and prosperity this year, look no farther than your local supermarket! On New Year’s Day, people all around the world feast on foods that are thought to symbolize good fortune. We have a list of a few lucky foods for you to load your plate up with that promise a good year to come!

Long Noodles - In many Asian countries, it is tradition to eat long noodles, such as soba or ramen, on New Year’s Day. The length of the noodle symbolizes long life, but there’s a catch. In order for the noodles to bring longevity, it must not break before it is all in your mouth.

Try: Peanut Rice Noodles

Black Eyed Peas – Long seen as a sign of prosperity, black-eyed peas are eaten on New Year’s Day in many Southern states.  For double the luck and prosperity, they are often served with collard greens.

Try: Black-Eyed Pea Salad

Pork – People in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria eat pork in celebration of the New Year. Pigs symbolize progress because they never move backwards.

Try: Pork Chops with Apple Cider Sauce

Lentils – Italians ring in the New Year with a big bowl of lentils. Their coin-like resemblance is thought to bring money and prosperity in the year to come.

Try: Lentil Burgers

Pomegranate – Associated with abundance and fertility, pomegranates are eaten in in several Mediterranean countries for good luck.  

Try: Chocolate Covered Pomegranate

Fish – Fish is a popular New Year’s dish in the Americas, Asia, and Europe for two reasons. Some say it symbolizes moving forward, since fish always swim forward, and others say it symbolizes abundance, since fish swim in schools.  

Try: Honey-Macadamia Halibut

Leafy Greens – Cabbage, kale, and collard greens are a few leafy vegetables thought to bring luck and fortune in the New Year. People in Germany, Ireland and parts of the United States eat these foods on New Year’s Day because of their resemblance to to money.

Try: Brazilian Style Collards

Round fruits – In Europe and the United States, eating twelve round fruits promises sweetness and prosperity for each month of the year. In the Philippines, the custom calls for lucky number 13.

Try: Citrus Salad

Pickled Herring – Because of their abundance in Western Europe and their silvery, coin-like coloring, it is a New Years’ Eve tradition in many Scandinavian countries to eat pickled herring at the stroke of midnight to ensure a year of bounty and prosperity.

Try: Swedish Pickled Herring

Corn bread – In the American South, people begin the New Year with a slice of cornbread. The gold color resembles money, and many people add extra corn kernels to resemble gold nuggets.

Try: Gluten-Free Vegan, Cacao Cornbread

Round Cake - Not the healthiest of traditions, round cake is often eaten on New Years Day to symbolize coming full circle from the beginning of the year to the end. 

Try: Banana-Walnut Bundt Cake 

Here’s to a healthy, happy 2012!