21 Weird Food Superstitions



NEW YORK – Everyone knows that garlic wards off vampires and that spilling salt is terrible luck. But did you know that you should never cut a banana with a knife? And speaking of knives, did you know that you should never give a knife to a friend? If you’re constantly in the kitchen, you should probably consider these 21 superstitions so you don’t end up unmarried, childless, friendless, or worse.


Everyone knows that garlic wards off vampires. It can also ward off the curse of the evil eye.

Eggs & Egg Shells

Eggs symbolize fertility, so farmers would scatter broken eggs into their fields hoping they would bring forth an abundant crop. Also, if you break open an egg and find two yolks, that means someone you know will be getting married or having twins. And when you’re cracking your egg, make sure to crush the eggshell afterward: otherwise, legend has it, a witch will gather up the pieces, set sail, and cause terrible storms at sea.

If you spill salt, you’ll get bad luck. To remedy your misfortune, throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand to blind the devil and keep him from taking your soul. Risky business, using salt.
If you cut open a loaf of bread and see a hole (a.k.a. a large air bubble), that means somebody will die soon. The hole in the bread represents a coffin (spooky!). You should also cut a cross into the top of your loaf before baking, otherwise the devil will sit on it and ruin your loaf. Now “hot cross buns” makes more sense.
In China, long noodles symbolize a long life. So you should never cut your noodles—that means you’re cutting life short. Instead, you should slurp up long noodles up without breaking them.
Tea, also used in divination (we won’t get into that), has lots of superstitions connected to it. For instance, you should never put milk in your tea before the sugar, or you may never get married. Seemingly contradictory, undissolved sugar at the bottom of your cup means someone is in love with you. Spilling your tea means a stranger is about to visit you. And let only one person pour the tea—it’s bad luck if the duty is shared.
If there are bubbles in your coffee, you should catch them on your spoon and eat them—you’ll unexpectedly come into money. Or, we guess, expectedly, since you caught the bubbles, right?
Giving somebody an orange makes them fall in love with you. (We’ve tried. It hasn’t worked. Yet.)
Tossing rice at a newlywed couple supposedly brings the pair good health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity. We say: waste of perfectly good rice. (But not dangerous to birds!)
If you drop a fork, a woman will come to visit. A knife, a man will come to visit. A spoon, a child will come visit. So be careful when unloading the dishwasher!
Parsley has a surprising number of superstitions around it. Planting its seeds will help a woman become pregnant. If the plant thrives, that means her husband is weak. And whatever you do, don’t bring it to a dinner party—giving it as a gift brings bad luck. Giving parsley as a gift will also bring bad looks because, like, who gives parsley as a gift?
Hot Pepper
You should never hand a hot pepper directly to a friend—superstition has it that is will bring discord into the friendship. If you want to give your friend a jalapeño, put it on the table or counter and have them pick it up.
Passing a knife directly to someone will do the same thing as a hot pepper—”separate” (as knives are known to do) the two friends. That means you should never give a knife as a gift, either; if you do, make sure to ask your friend for a penny as “payment.”
Don’t eat peanuts at any kind of performance, whether it’s a play or a racing event (really!). The legumes are believed to give the performers or players bad luck.
Birthday Cake
The tradition of having a cake with candles on a birthday began with the ancient Greeks. They baked moon-shaped honey cakes to celebrate the birth of moon goddess Artemis—but believed evil spirits were attracted by the revelry. By saying “happy birthday” and burning candles, spirits are chased away. Today, lots of people believe that blowing out all the candles on your cake will make a wish come true. Fools!
Black eyed Peas
In the South, they eat Hoppin’ John, made with black-eyed peas, for good luck and prosperity in the new year.
In the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, people dip apples into honey to symbolize the hopes of a sweet year to come. And back in the day, people believed that if you cut into an apple and counted the seeds, it predicted how many children you’d have.
If you stick pins into a small onion and keep it on a windowsill, it dispels bad spirits from your house. Yeah, we don’t know.
South American countries believe that you should eat 12 grapes one-by-one at the stroke of midnight to symbolize each month of the year. If the grape is sweet, that particular month will be a good one. If it’s sour, it’s going to be a bad month.
You guys, NEVER cut a banana. It’s bad luck. Just break it up into smaller pieces if you need to. Also, you should never bring bananas on a ship—the boat will never catch any fish or, worse, get lost at sea.
Chop Sticks
In China and Japan, sticking your chopsticks into a bowl of rice upright is an omen of death. Arranging chopsticks that way makes them resemble incense, which the Chinese burn to honor the dead. Also, if your table setting has an uneven pair of chopsticks, that means you’ll miss a plane, train, or boat.


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