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New Year's Eve Party Food Ideas

Published December 28, 2011        by Sarah

When you throw a New Year’s Eve party, you’ll want to have festive foods. But did you know that some cultures shy away from certain foods on New Year’s Eve and believe they will bring bad luck? If you have many ethnicities in your groups of friends, you might want to know what not to serve in addition to what’s best to serve.

What Not to Serve

Champagne

If you want to keep the superstitious friends in your crowd happy, don’t serve lobster. Lobsters crawl backwards and that can mean setbacks in the New Year for those who believe foods can alter fate. Also avoid serving chicken or any other bird so that any luck that does come your way won’t fly out the window. You may laugh at such silliness, but there are many cultures that still believe in traditions like these. And don’t expect friends of certain ethnicities to clean their plates. It’s considered bad luck to eat every morsel on your plate on New Year’s Eve. If you leave food on the table, either on your plate or canned foods, it’s certain to mean a year to come filled with plenty.

Serve these Happy Foods

Greens

Now that you know what not to serve, turn your attention to planning a menu that will make everyone feel happy and lucky. Go for greens like collard greens or Swiss chard. Green means money, so these leafy varieties are thought to bring luck.

Beans

Black eyed peas and lentils are two of the mainstays of New Year’s good fortune seekers. Many cultures fear that if they don’t eat at least a small scoop of beans, the New Year will be dismal. So get that crock pot out.

Pork

You can’t leave pork out of a New Year’s menu. In many Mediterranean cultures, pork is the symbol of wealth and good fortune. Since pigs push their food, it’s thought that good luck will be pushed your way if you eat pork. Many cultures even put pig statues and candy pigs on their tables at New Year’s. Pork is also very fatty, so fat wallets are thought to be brought on by eating this rich meat.

Appetizer

Fish

Include fish in your New Year’s buffet and you’ll keep the good fortune rolling. Because fish have so many eggs, caviar is thought to bring fertility. If you’d rather not encourage a larger family, eat shrimp or sardines which are as plentiful in the sea as your good luck will be.

Coin Cakes

Many ethnicities bake cakes that have small coins or trinkets hidden in them. The one who finds the coin in his slice gets a heaping helping of luck in the New Year. Just be sure you don’t swallow your good fortune!

If you don’t care to serve traditional New Year’s Eve fare, you can let your party’s theme dictate the food menu. If you’re going casual, have appetizers like bacon wrapped scallops (but you still may have good luck from the pork and fish), puff pastries, cocktail wieners, and little quiches. You can now go to the big box warehouse stores and purchase entire appetizer menus by the box. All you have to do is heat up the delicious goodies before the party. No more running from store to store for hard to find appetizers. They are all there in one place. And if you want to make New Year cookies, well that's okay too.

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