Let’s Talk Food: New Year’s is this weekend FOOD Amine 27 Dec , 2022 0 This weekend we will be in 2023. I wish you all a wonderful year. Many families here in Hawaii welcome the New Year by making traditional foods such as ozoni, mochi soup, toshikoshi soba or soba, black soybeans or “black beans”, fish eggs or “kazunoko”, and mochi. Koreans eat a traditional soup called ‘Doguk’ to celebrate the new year, not their birthday. It’s a hot soup that mixes dashi, mochi, meat and vegetables. It is often topped with eggs, green onions, and toasted seaweed. Koreans believe that this soup brings good luck. In Oaxaca, Mexico, “bunuelos” or crunchy fritters drizzled with syrup and served on china plates are a traditional New Year’s dish. A ceramic serving dish is important in the custom because after eating the buñuelo, the ceramic plate is slammed against the walls and ceiling. This represents a farewell to the past. In Germany, the pig symbolizes money and good luck, so if you wish for a year of prosperity and good fortune, eating pork for dinner on New Year’s Day is recommended. But if you can’t eat pork, sugar pigs, or “gurkschwein,” a small pig-shaped treat made of sweetened almond paste will suffice. Suckling pigs are served on New Year’s Day in Austria, where the pig is a symbol of good luck, and are called ‘sylvesterabend’. Named after Saint Sylvester. In Spain, you have to eat 12 grapes between midnight and midnight on January 1st. This will grant 12 wishes. It is said that if you eat grapes within 1 minute, your wishes will come true on New Year’s December. If you can’t finish eating within 1 minute, you’re in for bad luck. Grapes should be sweet, because sour grapes mean bad luck. In Turkey, people threw New Year’s pomegranates on doorways, hoping to see as many seeds as possible burst from the fruit. increase. In Poland, we eat pickled herring on New Year’s Eve and welcome in the New Year with meatballs and pate. In Italy, lentils with pork sausage are eaten as they symbolize future prosperity. In Mexico, lentils are left on the doorstep or carried in a pocket, hoping to bring good luck in the New Year. In El Salvador, a raw egg is broken into a glass of water one minute before midnight. In the morning, the shape of the yolk determines the fortune of the year. In Argentina, people eat beans on New Year’s Day if they want to keep their current job or find a better job in the new year. Any type of beans is fine. Pan dulce or sweet rolls are served for late dinner the night before. Chocolate mousse is served in Sweden. The mousse contains rice pudding and one almond. Whoever puts the almonds in rice pudding will bring good luck in the New Year. Other sweets are creme brulee, panna cotta, and cheesecake. “Calenne” is Welsh for “new year celebration” and refers to skewered apples covered with diced fruit, aromatic herbs, nuts, oats and raisins. Traditionally, Karennich held up three wooden legs for an edible centerpiece. It is important to finish the calendar by noon on New Year’s Day. In Greece, on New Year’s Day, if you hang an onion on your front door along with a Christmas pomegranate, you’ll get good luck. A midnight toast to the New Year is called a ‘hogmanai’, and it’s Scottish custom to sing Auld Lang Syne while drinking whiskey. Food and drink are also exchanged with neighbors. A tradition in the southern part of the state is to eat black-eyed peas and collard greens. It means good luck and humility and brings good fortune. Collard green is green and represents money, luck and prosperity. Foods to avoid include lobster. Lobster is retrograde and could mean a setback next year. Chickens are another item to avoid in New Year’s dishes, as they are scratched on the back and have feathers that make them lose luck. We’ve been plagued by three viruses, soaring food prices over the last few years, so let’s eat the food that brings us the best luck and happiness, just in case. Happy New Year 2023!