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7 Lucky Foods for the New Year


New Year's: A day of looking back at triumphs, and looking ahead to a growing new year.

The 12:00AM strike of January 1st has become synonymous with high hopes, novelty plastic glasses in the shape of the anticipated year, and shooting fireworks stretching accross the skies above major cities all around the world.  Along with hors d'oeuvres or a great bottle of champagne, there's a must-have in every New Year's menu: lucky food to increase your good fortune.

From the U.S. to China, these are 7 lucky foods that guests look forward to for the ultimate, delicious new year kickoff with their beloved friends and family.


In Spain, family and friends gather to peel the outer skin and remove the seeds of 12 grapes representing the 12 months to come.  It’s a popular tradition to eat one grape for each single clock chime at midnight.  A legend encourages partakers to find the sweetest grapes in town [and avoid the not-so-lucky the sour ones!] for a joyous and prosperous year. Many other nations throughout Latin America have mimicked this festive tradition, including Colombia and Mexico.

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Image: By Anagoria


These tiny edible seefs are considered good luck in Italy for the New Year, il capodanno, because of their round, coin-like shape.  Lentils, filled with protein and iron, are usually prepared in a hearty dish called Cotechino con Lenticchie (Green lentils with fresh sausage).  Black-eyed peas or black beans can also be used.

lentils new year



It's resemblance to money and folded dollar bills has thousands of people across the world and the US of A creating vitamin-filled, sautéed kale recipes by Bobby Flay.  To ensure more green in your pocket this year, find an easy-to-follow way of cooking the kale, and preserving it's earthy flavor, texture, and moisture. No kale? No problem. Chard or collard greens may be substituted instead. 

kale pine nuts raisins a



U.S. represents wealth + happiness for the new year in southern United States. The golden color of this soul food favorite is one of three foods appearing in a New Year's promising phrase: “Peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold.”

Bake up a big pan of homemade cornbread for the family, or mini cornbread muffins for the kids to bring luck in 2013.

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By Southern Foodways Alliance (Corn bread muffins 1 copy) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 


Long Noodles

Noodles represent long, healthy life in China, Japan and other Asian countries.  The trick is to slurp the noodles without breaking them or chewing them.  If you’re lucky enough, your slurp techniques will help you achieve a bowl full of longevity and happiness in this upcoming year 2013. 

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Cold buckwheat soba (Dragan Maksimovic) / CC BY-SA 3.0

Round Cakes + Cookies

Ring-shaped treats symbolize the previous year coming to a full circle.  It's a well-known ritual in the United States said to bring blessings and prosperity in many, many cultures.

Learn how to decorate a cake in 20 minutes!

At last, there's a way to justify the Swiss House Bakery assorted cookies you had, the Hostess CupCakes after the Hostess meltdown, and the entire Modern Pastry mousse cake you ate on your birthday. By yourself.

Modern Pastry

 Image: Modern Pastry