FLP5: Holiday food traditions

This is the second in the Food Literacy Project Top 5 for 2012 series.

uncut noodles

Drawing by Bryon Goto

1. Instead of milk and cookies for Santa, England likes to give “father christmas” mince pies and a small glass of sherry.

2. In Italy, serving lentils helps bring in New Year prosperities. These small legumes are flat and round reminding people of coins, and thus lentil soup is considered prosperity-boosting.

3. To bring in the New Year in China, be sure to eat uncut noodles. The uncut noodles symbolize longevity, and the longer the noodles, the longer the life.

4. In Eastern Europe families share a single bowl of kutya, a porridge made from wheat berries, honey and poppy seeds and throw spoonfuls of kutya up to the ceiling to see if it sticks; if it does, the year will bring happiness, peace and success.

5. During Hannukkah, a common Jewish tradition is to eat oily foods such as latkes (fried potato pancakes) or sufganiyot (fried jelly doughnuts) to symbolize the miracle of lamp oil.

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