20 Strange Food Superstitions from Around the World

20 Strange Food Superstitions from Around the World

Posted by Brent Furdyk on November 19, 2015, Source


Food has long been related to various superstitious practices, ranging from warding off the undead (garlic, but you already knew that) to throwing rice at weddings in the belief that it'll bring prosperity to the bride and groom.
Take a look at these weird superstitions from across the globe that involve food. 





An apple a day keeps the doctor away, or so goes the old proverb (which isn't necessarily untrue).


Apples are also the subject of superstition: Jewish tradition holds that on the holiday of Rosh Hashanah (New Year) one should dip a slice of apple in honey, which is said to bring about a sweet year to come.


In addition, back in the day it was believed that if you cut open an apple and counted the seeds, the number would predict how many children you would have.

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There are many superstitions surrounding eggs, but one of the weirdest is that if you break an egg, you need to crush the ends of the shell as well — if you don't, a witch will gather up the shell, use it to build a boat and then start a huge storm out at sea.


Another (and less odd) superstition holds that if you ever break an egg and it has two yolks within, you'll have twins.




If you ever board a fishing boat and the captain slaps a banana out of your hand, don't be surprised — a banana on a boat is believed to bring a curse upon the boat, which will never again catch any fish and might even get lost at sea.


Also, never cut a banana with a knife — that's totally bad luck! Instead, break it into smaller pieces with your fingers.

Birthday Cake

Birthday CakeThe tradition of putting candles on a birthday cake goes way back, to ancient Greece, in fact. The Greeks baked moon-shaped honey cakes to worship the moon goddess Artemis, but they believed all the celebrating attracted evil spirits. Burning candles supposedly chased the bad spirits away.


BreadSlicing into a fresh loaf of bread and discovering large air bubbles is not a good thing — it supposedly means that someone you know will die soon. Meanwhile, the old practice of placing a cross atop a loaf wasn't because it looks classy; it was believed to keep the devil away.


CoffeeBefore sipping that cup of java, examine it first. Are there bubbles on the surface? If so, don't just drink them — that's a wasted opportunity! According to the superstition, if you catch all the bubbles in a spoon and drink them from the utensil, superstition has it that you'll soon experience an unexpected cash windfall.


GarlicNot only does garlic supposedly hold the ability to ward off vampires, in Italian folklore the "stinking rose" is also believed to fend off the dreaded "evil eye" curse. Hanging a wreath of garlic on the front door not only looks cool and folksy, but will also protect the home from all manner of nastiness.


ParsleyFor such a humble little plant, parsley sure does have a lot of superstitions surrounding it. For example, some believe that planting parsley seeds will help a woman become pregnant, while another belief holds that giving parsley as a gift is bad luck and, let's be honest, also kind of weird.


SaltEven those among us who aren't particularly superstitious may have accidentally spilled salt on a table and thrown a small handful over our shoulders without thinking twice. The reason: spilling salt is just plain bad luck, but you can lift the curse by using your right hand to throw some salt over your left shoulder.


PeanutsAlthough the lyrics to 'Take Me Out to the Ball Game' insist upon buying some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, but peanuts are the last thing you should be eating at a ball game, or any sporting event for that matter. Eating peanuts at a performance or sporting event is believed to bring bad luck to the performers and athletes. That's why peanuts in the shell are never sold at a NASCAR race. Peanut M&Ms, however, are totally fine.


RiceIf you've ever attended a wedding, you've probably seen somebody toss handfuls of uncooked rice up in the air as the bride and groom leave the church. But have you ever wondered why this is done? The reason is based on an old superstition that throwing crops such as oats, grain, rice, etc. at newlyweds would bless the couple with fertility and prosperity. Over the years, rice eventually became the more popular choice.


TeaTea has brewed up a whack of superstitions over the years, including the belief that adding milk to your tea before adding sugar is a surefire way to guarantee you'll never be married. Meanwhile, finishing your tea only to discover undissolved sugar at the bottom means that someone is in love with you, while spilling tea means you will soon be paid a visit from a stranger.


WishboneIt's become a tradition to wrestle over a wishbone after a turkey or chicken dinner, with whoever's holding the larger piece supposedly granted a wish. This superstition has its roots in ancient Italy, pre-dating the Romans, when it was believed that chickens had the power of divination that could be used to foretell the future.


WineSpilling wine is not only bad for white tablecloths, rugs and clothing, it's also bad for luck. An old Italian superstition claims that if you accidentally spill some wine, you should immediately dab a little behind your ears, like perfume, which will create the exact opposite response and bring on some good luck.

Brent Furdyk is a freelance writer in Vancouver.

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