Ring in the New Year With a Culinary Ritual

Try something new as we say goodbye to 2020 and hello to 2021.


Many cultures celebrate with specific foods. One of the most common groups is the legume. In Italy, lentils are considered a symbol of prosperity (they resemble a Roman coin) and are eaten with a pork sausage called cotechino (pictured above). In the American South, folks eat black-eyed peas – said to bring good luck in the year ahead.   

In countries such as Austria, Portugal and Cuba, pigs are a sign of wealth and good fortune, so eating pork ribs, chops and roast suckling pig are a common custom.  

If you prefer something sweet, try the Swedish practice of serving rice pudding with a hidden almond inside. If you find the almond, you’re assured to have good luck in the 12 months ahead.  


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This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s December issue.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.