7 Traditional New Year’s Foods From Around the World
Do you toast with champagne or pop 12 grapes in your mouth? Do you eat a bowl full of noodles or a bowl full of black-eyed peas? All around the world, people enjoy different New Year’s traditions, and many of these traditions revolve around food. When planning your New Year’s menu, incorporating some of these dishes can create exciting new traditions for your family. At the very least, they will make for excellent table conversation!
In Spain, it is traditional to eat 12 grapes at midnight. Usually, one grape is consumed for each strike of the clock. If you decide to try this, just be careful not to choke. Eating so quickly is not as easy as you may think.
In Japan, soba noodles are traditional New Year’s fare. In fact, “toshikoshi” translates to “New Year’s” or “year’s end.” Usually, this dish is eaten just before midnight and also on New Year’s Day. We included this recipe in the list because it is relatively simple, calling for just six ingredients.
Hoppin’ John consists of black-eyed peas, ham, and rice. In the Southern United States, it is commonly eaten on New Year’s Day and is thought to bring luck. We like this recipe because it is easy but traditional. Want to go all-in on Southern food? Consider preparing cornbread and collard greens, which are also common New Year’s foods thought to bring wealth and luck.
While the history and meaning of the tradition are unclear, oliebollen are a Dutch dish often enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. Oliebollen are fried dough balls that usually feature dried fruits. We’ve included this recipe because it looks completely craveable.
In Germany, marzipan pigs are commonly given as gifts around New Year’s. While they are thought to bring good luck, they can also be quite tasty. We like this recipe because it provides plenty of detail to guide you along. Plus, even children can participate in the preparation.
This marzipan cake is popular for celebrations in both Denmark and Norway. And since New Year’s Eve is a celebration, it is also frequently enjoyed on the festive holiday. Note that this recipe uses grams, so you may have to either whip out a kitchen scale or use this handy grams-to-cups converter. We’ve included this recipe because it creates such a fun, festive looking treat that would make a great centerpiece on a holiday table.
Vasilopita could be considered either a cake or a sweet bread. This Greek treat traditionally eaten at the New Year. Much like king cake enjoyed at Mardi Gras, vasilopita has a coin baked in. Whoever finds the coin is thought to have good luck for the year. Obviously, if you are baking bread with a coin in it, just make sure everyone is careful not to choke or break any teeth. We like this recipe because we think it strikes a nice balance between sweet and savory.
What foods do you usually eat on New Year’s? Share your favorite traditions in the comments section.