We all know that garlic wards off vampires and spilled salt can bring bad luck. So, to celebrate this Friday the thirteenth, we dug a little deeper to serve up a variety of unusual food superstitions for you to devour!
From symbolizing fertility to bringing abundant crops, eggs show up frequently in superstitions. An unusual one is regarding eggshells—that a witch will gather uncrushed eggshells, then set sail and cause terrible storms at sea. So be sure to crush your eggshells, sailors!
Here’s another superstition about the sea—bananas! Fishermen once believed that having bananas on board would bring bad luck and lessen the day’s catch. Even today, bananas are banned from many boats and ships.
Want someone to fall in love with you? Superstition suggests giving them an orange to encourage romance. Just think what a mimosa would do!
If you break open a loaf of bread and find air bubbles that leave holes, beware! Superstition suggests these little air pockets may mean someone you know will soon die.
Hot Cross Buns
Ever wonder why there’s a cross? The belief was that a cross would keep the devil from sitting on the bread. Today’s bakers know that the cross improves breads’ rise in the oven.
In South America, it’s traditional to eat 12 grapes on New Year’s Eve, at the stroke of midnight. Allegedly, the taste of each grape corresponds to the month in the coming year. So if the fourth grape is sweet, that means April will bring good fortune. Maybe that’s where the term “sour grapes” comes from.
In China, there’s a belief that the length of noodles represents the length of your life. So don’t cut the noodles (or pasta)…you might cut your retirement years, too!
Do you like your friends? Never hand them a hot pepper. Superstition says that would bring conflict into the friendship. If you must pass a pepper, simply place it on the table.
Tea, like eggs, is surrounded by superstition. Here are a few we didn’t know! Spilled tea will bring a stranger to the door. Adding milk before sugar means one will never get married. And, it’s bad luck for more than one person to pour the tea.
This last one is really nuts—peanuts (actually, it’s a legume). Superstition suggests that shelled peanuts are bad luck for race car drivers. In the 1930’s, there were two separate race car crashes, where many people—drivers and spectators—perished. According to rumors (but no mention in the newspapers), peanut shells were found in the wreckage of both accidents. And that’s precisely how superstition begins.
We mentioned just a few food superstitions from all around the world! Do you have one that missed our list? Let us know in the comments… just in case!