February 13, 2015
Posted in: Culinary Arts

Interesting global food superstitions for Friday the 13th

Ever accidentally spilled salt? Some superstitious people believe the devil will try to steal your soul. Ward him off by throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder.

Ever accidentally spilled salt? Some superstitious people believe the devil will try to steal your soul. Ward him off by throwing a pinch of salt over your left shoulder.

People are all amped up about this weekend. Many have three days off because of Presidents Day and are planning exciting date nights for tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. But don’t forget, today is a holiday of sorts as well – it’s Friday the 13th. In celebration, we’ve rounded up some weird and wacky food-related superstitions from around the globe that you’ve probably encountered while meeting people involved in the Austin culinary arts scene:

Garlic
This tasty bulb is said to ward off evil and vampires. Just hang a string on your doorway or wear it around your neck and you’ll be free from nasty stares and fanged, bat-like creatures.

Bananas
According to Delish, sailors are not keen on letting bananas on the boat. Normally even-keeled ship captains blanch at the thought of the fruit as it may bring bad luck and lessen the day’s fishing catch. It’s often banned from making the trip.

Rice
Ever thrown uncooked rice at a weeding when the newlyweds made their way out of the ceremony? This is said to represent good luck, wealth and fortune for the rest of the marriage.

The gift of an orange
According to Bon Appétit, if you want someone to fall in love with you, some believe that giving him or her an orange may help the process.

Eggs
There are many superstitions involving eggs. Some farmers crush the shells and put them into the soil in hopes that they will bring good luck for the next year’s harvest. Other people believe you must break up the entire shell, not just crack it in half, to remove the edible part. If you don’t annihilate the entire shell a witch may use it to build a boat and wreak havoc out at sea. Some people believe that eating an egg with two yolks is good luck and means someone you know will have twins or get married soon.

13 dinner guests
A French tradition is that 13 dinner guests is unlucky so a fourteenth must be added to even out the numbers. An Agatha Christie novel called “Thirteen at Dinner” has been adapted into a movie about a murder that occurs after a dinner with the unlucky number of guests. Movie star Ginger Rogers starred in another thriller about the phenomenon called “The Thirteenth Guest.” The idea was so popular even Franklin Delano Roosevelt would not allow a dinner to consist of 13 guests. He always invited another person or stayed at 12.

Spilled salt
It is widely talked about in folklore that spilling salt is bad luck and may bring the devil upon you. To remedy the situation, simply take a pinch of salt and use your right hand to throw it over your left shoulder. This will keep the devil away and prevent him from stealing your soul.

Holey bread
Ever cut open a loaf of bread and found it has some air bubbles that leave holes? If so, beware. Superstition has it that these little accidents may mean someone you know will die soon.

Good luck grapes
According to The Kitchn,  people in South America encourage eating 12 grapes on New Years Eve. If you try this, note the taste of each grape and the order you eat them in. If the third grape is sour, that means March may be a bad month for you. A sweet grape means a happy month full of good fortune.

Don’t cut the noodle
It can be tempting to break noodles in half in order to get them to cook faster and better fit in the pot. If you’re superstitious, you may want to avoid cutting the noodles in any way. A Chinese belief is that the length of the noodle represents how long you will live. If you cut or break the pasta, you might be taking years off your life.