Thursday, December 29, 2011

Traditional Americana New Year's Dishes

Happy New Year (in a few days)!  I took the liberty of researching some traditional American New Year's recipes and came up with some pretty interesting information.  First, I learned that Ham & Pork are traditional New Year's dishes in several countries around the world and the USA.

Marinated Pork Loin Roast

Why pork, you may ask?  Apparently, wild boar was often hunted, killed, and eaten throughout the cold winter months, right around New Year's, in Europe (think England, Germany, Poland) and thus became the staple feast dish at New Year's.

Cider Orange Ham

Also, pork and ham are customary New Year's main courses because pigs apparently root or dig with their noses to the ground moving forward, a preferred metaphor for approaching the new year.  This also explains why chicken, and birds in general did not make the traditional New Year's recipe list or tables.  Chickens and turkeys scratch the ground with their feet in a backwards motion, supposedly not bringing good luck to the eater of said chicken.

Salmon Cakes

Which brings me to the last bit of research.  I discovered that fish (all kinds) are considered quite lucky in most cultures (think Japan, Asia, South Pacific Islands, etc) to eat at New Year's, as they represent all sorts of metaphors for moving forward, swimming upstream and any other fish metaphor you want to add.  In North America, eating Salmon, Cod, Herring and Halibut at New Year's is considered to bring you good luck for the next year and signifies prosperity.

Hopefully you have enjoyed your little history lesson about New Year's dishes and found a recipe tempting enough for you to try!  We enjoy feedback and sharing photo results of recipes.

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