Millions of people around the world eat pork on the first day of the year hoping that it will bring a healthy and prosperous year. After the years 2020 and 2021, I believe we need a large serving of this delicious meat for an abundance of health in the New Year.
“Good health and prosperity in the new year” is a common phrase we hear as we end each year and begin a new one. Considering the last two years, it is all the more meaningful. We look at each New Year’s Day as a chance for a fresh start yet we tend to follow old traditions when it involves our New Year’s Day meal.
Around our country and around the world, one of the most popular dishes eaten on New Year’s Day is pork of some kind. Usually some type of greens such as cabbage, sauerkraut or collards accompany the pork. You might wonder why pork? The pig is a symbol of moving forward, progress and growth in life and its delicious fattiness has come to symbolize wealth and prosperity. The greens are thought to represent money and prosperity, and the long shreds of the kraut point to long life. Other foods that represent money are legumes such as lentils and black-eyed peas.
I must admit that I am superstitious when it comes to what I eat on New Year’s Day. I’ve always gone with the Southern tradition of eating black-eyed peas on the first day of the year. My husband grew up with his family always having some form of pork so these specific foods are never skipped in our home. I thought I would share some of the options we have had over the years that include pork chops, sausage, ribs, bacon or ham.
Sausage, kale and black-eyed pea risotto, rich with Italian flavors, is a comforting dish that includes not only pork but also greens and black-eyed peas for three times the luck for the New Year.
The French from Alsace as well as the Germans and Austrians enjoy platters of sausages and pork served on sauerkraut for a prosperous New Year.
Pozole is a New Year’s classic dish that is enjoyed in Mexico as well as across the Southwestern United States.
No where is roast pork more beloved than in Cuba, where it takes center stage on New Year’s Day.
Lentils are considered to bring good luck in Italy for New Year’s because the tiny round legumes resemble coins. A flavorful combination of lentils, sausage, and pasta creates a flavorful and hearty soup for the first day of the year.
Even if theses delicious pork dishes I’ve suggested don’t provide the health and prosperity I’m wishing for you, I hope the meals will provide you with comfort and great flavor to enjoy throughout the year. My hope is that the coming New Year will be a healthier and happier one for us all.
Thank you for your support and friendship throughout the year, it is very much appreciated.
Happy New Year, Karen