7 Crazy Food Superstitions To Digest
What does it mean if you get a double yolk? Why can't you bring bananas on a fishing boat? Some of these food superstitions are sure to amuse. Do you believe any of them?
The other day, I cracked an egg and saw a double yolk, the first time that’s ever happened to me. I was sure it had to mean something. It sure does. Eggs are a symbol of fertility, and apparently, getting a double yolk means someone I know will be having twins or getting married! It made me wonder, what other food superstitions are out there? I uncovered quite a few. How many of these do you believe?
1.Garlic. One of the most long-held food superstitions is that garlic wards off vampires and evil. This originated because of garlic’s medicinal and healing properties. It was used during the Plague in Europe, also known as the Black Death, and actually protected some people from catching the deadly disease. In Romania, if a corpse was thought to be in danger of becoming a vampire, people stuffed cloves of garlic into the orifices of the corpse, especially the mouth. This was done in order to prevent evil spirits from entering the dead body. Yikes!
2. Salt. We’ve all heard that if you spill salt, you should toss some over your left shoulder with your right hand. Ever wonder why? Superstition says that the Devil is always over your left shoulder, and the Angel is over your right (can you picture the cartoon of each whispering in your ear about that piece of chocolate cake?), so if you toss the salt, it will blind the Devil and he can’t take your soul.
3. Bread. Superstition says that if you cut open a loaf of bread and see a large hole in the middle, someone in your life will die. The hole represents a coffin. We all know this is just an air bubble, but it sure makes for an unsettling sandwich.
4. Rice. We used to throw rice at the happy couple after wedding ceremonies (it’s birdseed or rose petals now). Ever wonder why? Tossing rice at a newly married couple is said to bring them wealth and happiness.
5. Hot Peppers. Did you know you’re not supposed to hand a friend a hot pepper? Doing so can put a strain on the friendship. You should put it on the table and let him or her pick it up. So use caution the next time you’re out having nachos when you say, “pass the jalepeños!”
6. Black-Eyed Peas. In the South, they eat Hoppin’ John, a dish made with black-eyed peas, for good luck and prosperity in the new year. The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck dates back to the Civil War. It is said that the fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Commander William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops destroyed or stole other crops, thereby providing a nutritional food source for surviving Confederates.
7. Bananas. Did you know it’s bad luck to cut a banana with a knife? You should break it into pieces. And fisherman folklore says never bring a banana on board a ship because boats carrying bananas don’t do well at catching fish. This food superstition dates back to the early 18th century when wooden boats in the Caribbean had to deliver bananas before they spoiled, and the fisherman on board couldn’t catch fish on such fast-moving vessels. Another theory is that the bananas gave off gasses that could kill those below deck.
So these are just a few. What food superstitions do you know? Share them with us in the comments below.
This article was published by the staff at Farmers' Almanac. Do you have a question or an idea for an article? Contact us!
If you and another person are walking, and y’all come upon an object that causes you two to split up and each walk on a different side of the object, then you must both say, “Bread and Butter”, or bad luck will come both of your way.
My grandmother used to say if you drop a table knife on the floor a hungry man is coming to your house. If you drop a fork, a hungry woman is coming. If you drop a spoon, a hungry child will be coming.
a Hat or shoes on the table is bad luck and (bad manners) it effects the prosperity in a negative way.
if your nose itches, you will kiss a fool.
an apple a day keeps the doctor away. same goes for avocado and olives
putting your clothes on inside out means good luck.
always follow your gut feeling when it comes to your children’s safety.
never go to bed angry.
singing, humming, and whistling helps you live longer
put a penny (older than 1985) in your shoe for good health
Owls screech at you, bad omen (relationship / travel)
Owls stalk you, bad omen (relationship / travel)
Bird flies into your window a sign someone is going to die and she did 🙁
We always had black eyed peas on New year’s Day. I’ve always heard that if you see a penny on the ground, keep it if it’s heads up and give it away if it’s tails up. I do the salt over my shoulder ….left one of course.??They say if you borrow salt, never return it. Don’t know why…
Before New Year comes the house should be cleaned and organized pantry should be stocked with Cooking oil, salt, and sugar and one sack of rice and never spent any single centavo on New Years’ day. The superstitious belief is abundant blessing will stay inside the house and money will not go out of your savings. Prosperous throughtout the year and plenty of money.
It was my husband’s family belief on New Year’s Day that every dinner plate had at least a dollar under it to ensure you would have sufficient money to live on during the year. My folks required black-eyed peas be eaten by everyone at the table, even if only a single bite, to bring luck for the new year.
So many of these superstitions gave been passed down in our family, and so many more that we can’t recall at this moment. Having great grandparents (maternal and paternal) from Germany, Ireland, Mom learned many of them. So enjoyed this article and responses.
My dad used the Farmers’ Almanac as his “bible” for when to plant which crop for best yield.
Don’t let anyone sew any clothing while you’re wearing it, i.e. a button, because as they’re sewing the clothing, they’re also sawing up your brain.
If you and a friend are walking (relationship doesn’t matter). And there is a pole coming up. walk on same side of the pole. But if the pole is taller of either of you it’s safe to splitup. Otherwise the friend that you are walking with between the poles. Your relationship is doomed
My grandmother born in 1902 said if you put an axe under the bed of a woman giving birth it will cut the labor pains.
My New Years has always been pork and saurkraut. If your left hand itches you will receive money and itching right hand you will shake hands with someone, Don’t scratch either or both will go away. If you spill salt sprinkle a little in your right hand and throw it over your left shoulder. I was told spilling salt was bad luck because it was something that was hard to come by in the olden days. A bird flying into a window, someone will die.
Thank you Marge… I remembered the kraut,
But forgot about the itchy hands!
If your left hand itches you owe money pay your bill, if your right hand itches your getting money. Nose itches on the left side a woman will call, right side a man will call, or vesa vera. Ear itches someone is talking about you. spill salt toss it over your left shoulder with your right hand.if your butt itches it`s itches for some pudding.Eat black eyed peas on the first of the year to have money all year. Step on a crack break your grandmas back. A bird flying into the window someone will die. If you see a feather in your yard you`ve been visited by an angel. If you feel chilled a angel is around you could be hugging you. Dr visit people`s houses made house calls mamaw & Moms
said the kids back then thought a dr`s bag was bringing a new baby.
My mother, God bless her soul, always said to make extra food , and set an extra plate at the table! Somebody always visits at dinner time! And if you forget more than one will visit!
I was raised to eat what ever mom cooked & be dammed glad you had it. We never had much, but some how mom always fed us 8 boys.
If a red bird stays around your house and looks at you, it’s a loved one from heaven letting you to know everything is going to be good .
Karen, putting earwax on a cold sore does work. An American Indian doctor advised my mother to do that years ago. It sounds repulsive, however, the proof is in the results! The moisture from just inside the ear, when applied at the first sign of the cold sore, will and has stopped the sore from ‘blossoming” within a very short time.
Grandma’s sayings: always cover all the mirrors with a sheet and turn off the TV and lights when it is lightning outside. Lightning wont strike your home. Never point at a cemetary when passing by…if you do, bite your finger you pointed with. If a black cat crosses your path on front of you, reverse and go back the other way. If you find coin heads up it is good luck. If you sneeze three times, you are catching a cold. Never step over someones legs, they will stop growing. Left hand itching means a stranger is coming. Right hand means money is coming. Hiccups stunts growth in babies. A safety pin pinned inside your pocket brings good luck and money. Dreaming of fish means someone close in your family is pregnant. Bad luck to sweep anyones feet with a broom. Earwax on a fever blister heals it. Never sit with your back to a door, always sit facing a door. Brushing your hair 100 strokes every night makes it grow longer and healthier. Eating peanuts that are still in the shell is jinx or bad luck. My mom would freak out if anyone brought a bag of peanuts still in the shell into our house!
I was told that if you wash clothes on New Years day there will be a death in the family before the year is out. (at that time my grandfather was dying of colon cancer but his son was killed in a motorcycle accident 4 months later. Yes I washed clothes that day) Also if your left hand itched company was coming and the right one meant you were going to receive money. In the south where I live you have to have black eye peas and cabbage for luck in the new year.
My mother-in-law was very insistent that we go out the same door that we came in, otherwise you would have bad luck.
This was good reading..I see we have some common sayings throughout the world for e.g. in Trinidad we say the same about handing someone pepper in their hands. One that comes to mind is if a woman’s second toe is longer than her big toe then she will rule her husband
It is bad luck to be superstitious ?
I am from Pa. and I have always made sauerkraut and pork for New Years day, but last year, 2 of my grown kids died, 2 in one yr, so I told my husband, never again will I bother with sauerkraut for New Years.
A non-food superstition is always have a bit of cash in your wallet on New Years Eve, before the stroke of midnight. This will ensure money in the next year. Also, our family does wash clothes between Christmas and New Years. In the old days, when the wash was hung up, the water coming from the clothes would symbolize tears of sadness and sorrow. My parents are from Germany.
We have a food superstition in our house. We never place bread on it’s top on the counter or any table etc. I googled that, and it says that the Vikings would not do this either. It would mean that a ship would capsize.
New Years Day in the South:
Whatever Work you do on New Years Day, you will Work twice as hard all year.
Food: Black Eyed Peas cooked with hog jowl for Coins; Turnip Greens cooked with hog
jowl for Green money; Sweet Potatoes for Gold and Cornbread just because it is
so good with rest of the meal!!
My grams used to say:
to know a witch this simple way throw rice on the floor and begin to pray
if you milk turns sour before it’s time then a witch is working close by
if your nose itches a strange man will visit
itchy palm on left hand is travel and on the right is money
if you say something you don’t wish to pass knock on wood and the danger is past
breaking a mirror 7 yrs bad luck
if you kill an owl by accident or on purpose it will curse you with bad luck til you die
don’t keep cats or dogs indoors when it is storming they attract lightning
if a bird flies in the house and even when shooed can’t get back out then someone will die .
if you hear a whipperwill sing at sunset get down and roll or you will have the backache for a week.
to get rid of a toothache run around a church nine times without thinking of a fox.
My grams was about the most superstitious person I ever knew. I am not at all but omg, if the street was full of cracks walk on the other side. Don’t go under ladders, etc. Some things are common sense but I still laugh hearing some things that I have forgotten that she used to say, coming out of other people’s mouths.
One year a Robin was flying into a picture window of my home for days later that year she was diagnosed with cancer the next year she passed away.I believe in myths.
Mexico- you have to eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight= 12 wishes. Wear red underwear fit love and green bra for money.
Mexico- for a young girls quincienera if she is not pure her crown will fall and all of her food will spoil.
Bury a witch at a cross road so she can’t find her way back, preferably one by water.
Banana peel placed on a wart will get rid of it.
Oak leaves carved into the wood frames around a door will keep ants out.
Hazelnuts in abundance will cause a miscarriage ( Nutella).
Honey never spoils
Boil a red onion until clear ( with the sick person in the room) to get rid of a cold. Antiseptic.
Never sweep someone’s feet = jail.
Bury a broken mirror to get rid of the 7 years bad luck for breaking it.
Cross your windshield 3times with and x to get rid of bad luck from a cat (black) crossing your path.
If your ears ring, someone is talking about you…bite your inner chhek…to make the person bite their tounge.
2 eye lashes, blow to make a wish.
11:11 wish ?? Never understood that one??
Split a pull, say bread and butter.
Tails up penny , kick it until its heads up for the next person.
Irish Southerner here: Corned beef and cabbage and Hoppin John are on the menu at my house for a prosperous New Year!
Until the late 1800s it was believed that tomatoes were poisonous (as they were part of the “Nightshade” family of plants). Anyone who could eat a tomato and not die was considered a “witch” and was put to death.
True stuff: if you hit a bird while driving your car…. someone close to you is prego!!! Happened every time one of my friends had been prego
Amazing! I always thought it was avoiding the bodily fluids of someone with HIV or AIDS that kept me from having it…turns out that I’m just genetically superior!LOL
A bird fly’s in an open window into someone’s home means someone in the family is going to die. It happened to me. My sister told me this 2 weeks before my husband died at age 33 that a bird flew in her window so someone in the family was going to die and do not sweep under a single woman’s feet or she will never get married [Did it to my sister and at 54 never married. Some things make you go Uhm
mikki, a little humility please, garlic is not only a potent anti-virial and anti-insecticide, bugs hate the smell, and its the fleas biting you that gives it to you, not person to person, its also the strongest wide-spectrum antibiotic known to man, in scientific testing recently by NIH, it beat all the man made antibiotics on the market in of efficacy… the only things more effective were antibiotics designed for a specific bug, e.g. cipro… so given the three it is entirely possible garlic could protect you from getting the plague! on top of that hostorians know the roots of anti – semetism in europe comes from the fact that very few jews died of the plague- scientists studying that found that the fleas that wouldve carried plague in europe are universally attracted to people who eat pig meat, all pig meat has a toxin which destroys intenstine, which gives off anparticular chemical in our skin that the fleas love, normally our systems can cope with the damage but if yournreally sick eating pig meat can cause pig belly and kill you by killing your intenstines rapidly..: given that we now know our immune system is in our gut largely was what motivated the study… they believe that jews not eating meat, plus their excellent hygene compared to other peoples lives vingnin the middle age sonthat they would have pests in their dwellings or on them and the pests that were in the street wouldnt be attracted to the smell ofntheir skin is what keptnthem safe…
The all-knowing God gave the Jews guidelines that gave them great health and prosperity. It would be centuries before medical science caught up.
To Mikki: Thank you for sharing the YouTube on the Black Death. To my knowledge, the black death was spread by “RATS”. This documentary says other. Very interesting!
It was the fleas that lived on the rats.
Used to be Catholic, sprinkling Holy Water in the Windows wold keep lightning out. Precious aunt grabbed the ” blueing bottle” instead of the holy water and sprinkled all the white lace curtains at our camp. She did not live that one down.
When moving out of a house, you always leave the broom. It will bring bad luck into your new home if you bring it along.
I’ve always heard that if a dog howls there is going to be a death.
And if you drop a dishrag on the floor you will have unexpected company if you step on it they won’t show up.
Never put shoes on a table…someone will die
I put a heads up penny in all the rooms of the house in the North West corner. Supposed to brink Prosperity and Luck.
If your broom falls, accidentally, it means you’ll be receiving an unexpected visitor very soon.
And for some reason, I always seem to get very uncomfortable (anxious) if I see hats placed on a bed. So it turns out, when I was little (really little), my Italian Grandmother freaked out (telling me no no no in a way that I have never forgotten) when I was playing with my grandfather’s hat on their bed. I later learned that it was bad luck for the people who ownwd the hat/bed to have a hat placed on the bed.
New Years Day always included cooked cabbage and it always had to contain 1 sort of a coin in it. My Mom said it would make us prosper during the new year to follow.The coin was removed after everyone had at least a small portion on their plates.
Never give a friend or family member a knife for a gift, it will cut the friendship or relationship with the family member
If you are given anything sharp you must give a coin in return. The. The relationship will not be severed.
On New Year’s Day in the South, it’s black eyed peas, rice, and collard greens. That’s how you have good luck for the new year.
An acorn on the windowsill keeps out lightning.
I always heard you never hand some one scissors because you will cut your friendship like the peppers, you lay them down & let the other person pick them up.
If you are peeling a potato and cut it up, and you find a bad spot inside, bad news is coming.
Sauerkraut and pork on new years in the north and blackeye peas in the south. My household embraces both so the New Years meal is always interesting.
I was raised you had to eat sauerkraut on New Years Day to ensure a good year !! My Grandmother was fanatical about it !!! Even if it was a very tiny bite you had to have some .
My Mom always said if you accidently took out an extra piece of bread while you have a piece on your plate, someone is commin hungry!
I have read a little about it, but can you get it at a health food store? And how expensive? Thanks!