My theme for January is: "Foods That Bring Good Fortune"
There are certain foods and symbols that are thought to bring good fortune on New Year's, and on the other hand, there are some foods that are thought to bring bad luck.
Some cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring brings good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing the year's cycle. For this reason, some cultures bake round cakes. In Mexico, they make a cake decorated with candied fruit and baked with one or more surprises inside.And in Greece, they bake a cake with a coin hidden inside. Some cultures have additional rituals beyond the food. For example, in Spain, people consume twelve grapes at midnight on New Year's - one grape for each stroke of the clock.
Most of us are probably familiar with eating black-eyed peas on New Year's. We always had collards, black-eyed peas and cornbread. It is interesting to see what other cultures do beyond what we are used to.
The six main categories for good luck foods are grapes, greens, fish, pork, legumes, and cakes.
And even more importantly, there are some foods that you are supposed to avoid on New Year's because they bring bad luck. Lobster is thought to bring bad luck because they move backwards, and thus could lead to setbacks. Similarly, chicken scratch backwards and so would cause regret or cause the person to dwell in the past. Also, winged foul is considered bad luck because they could fly away.
The idea is to create a dish with one or more of the lucky foods. You can also create a dish that is round. Be sure to avoid the unlucky foods. For an added flair, you could even research this subject and create a specific dish (like Mexico's cake, rosca de reye). If you decide to cook a dish that is specific to a certain culture, feel free to tell us more about how they celebrate the New Year. For example, in Germany, they leave some food on their plate. They believe this ensures a stocked pantry for the coming new year.
I hope everyone has fun with this theme. The deadline to participate is January 25, 2009. Please e-mail me at heacollins (at) gmail (dot) com, with the name of your blog, the link to your post and a picture of your dish.
Don't have a blog? You can still participate! I can post in your favor, or you can use a service like Google Docs (which is free).