Italian New Year Culinary Tradition

Every country has its own New Years’ traditions especially when it comes to food – black peas and bread in United States, beans and legumes in Brazil and Argentina, boiled cod and preserved fish in Scandinavian countries, grapes in Mexico, soba or buckwheat noodles in Japan, fish and challah in Israel, and pork in countries like Spain, Hungary, Cuba, Poland, Sweden, Germany and Italy. Pigs are traditionally thought to represent progress, development and wealth.

Italy is well known for having very different traditions in different regions of the country during Christmas and New Year, but one of the few that is generally followed in the country is that of having lentils for New Years dinner. Lenticchie e cotechino is one of the rare Italian dinner traditions that is unanimously celebrated all over the country.

Cotechino is a special type of pork sausage originating from Modena that is 3 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. The lentils represent coins and therefore wealth. The more you eat of them, the better it is. They will bring prosperity to the coming year. If you are planning on cooking the dish for your dinner party, click here for a sufficiently simple recipe.

Having lentils at New Years especially at midnight is said to bring good luck and money, and we can all do with some more luck and fortune for the next year. Don’t forget to combine the meal with a glass of prosecco or red wine!

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