Why Lentils Are A Staple Italian New Year's Dish

Dec 06, 2023 1056

On January 1, billions of people around the world will eat a meal that's not just nutritious or delicious — but lucky. In the Southern U.S., they'll have Hoppin' John with greens (symbolizing money). In Spain, each person will eat 12 grapes (one for each month of the year). Italians eat grapes, too, but they also have their own tradition: Lentils.

Like other traditional New Year's food around the world, that bowl of lentils is more than just a meal. Picture a small, round lentil. Does it remind you of anything? It reminded ancient Romans of coins. They would give each other bags of lentils in the hope that they would turn into real, clinking currency. That may be why Italians associate them with wealth and prosperity in the New Year.

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SOURCE: https://www.thedailymeal.com/

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