Food: Fortune Telling and Superstitions
- meatn3 Apr 13, 2008 09:45 PM
Reading tea leaves is the probably the best known example of food as a method of deciphering the indecipherable. The one I remember best from childhood was to peel an apple in one long continuous peel. Then take the peel, toss it over your shoulder and it would form the first letter of your future beloveds name.
Can't wait to read your responses!
I don't know if this is a superstition or some crazy thing I did when I was bored as a kid -- but I would dip my soup spoon in alphabet soup trying to come up with letters that would spell a boy's name as that would be my future husband.
My stories were more about superstitions:
- In some Asian cultures, I was told not to "flip over" a fish when it was served whole on a plate, even if the meat on the top side is all eaten. Flipping over resembles ships of fishermen flipped over, and it will cause bad luck (so the proper way is to remove the bone to eat the meat on the other side without flipping)
- My mom told me that I should never sigh during a meal as she said that it was very fortunate for me to have food to eat when there are other people were living in hunger. If I sigh I will face the "punishment" of not having food to eat in the future.
(Did you think she made it up?)
Is that where that came from? I thought it was just for luck. Didn't know it would get rid of the devil. LOL!
I remember when I was a child that you would twist the stem of your apple while reciting the ABC's. Whatever letter the stem came off at was supposed to be the first letter of your "true loves" name.
other salt traditions: never pass the salt shaker at the table without the pepper shaker
it's also considered extremely bad luck for a household to entirely run out of salt-- many older people used to/still keep an unopened box/container of salt hidden somewhere in the house to avoid this!
chopsticks should not stand up in your rice bowl, it looks like incense sticks that are for the dead.
how about a Greek one, where the grinds(?) in the coffee are suppose to tell your fortune. After you finish the coffee you are suppose to turn the cup over and the way the grinds come out tell you if you are going to be rich or poor. Of course since mine never came out - it meant I was going to be poor, very accurately mind you.
in turkey and yugoslavia the coffee grounds are "read" as well--very similar to reading tea leaves
the pudding traditions in england where trinkets and coins are baked into a pudding at holiday time and if you have a trinket in your portion it's supposed to symbolize your fortune in the coming year: wealth, marriage, baby, etc.
the traditions surrounding roasting chestnuts and other nuts in the fire on samhain/halloween :
eating greens and hoppin john in the u.s. south at new year's for luck & wealth
there's tons more, just can't think of them all.