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New Year Dishes Around The World

Jan 11, 2024

New Year Dishes Around The World

Food and drinks are the heart of every celebration in every culture. New Year’s Eve foods may symbolize good luck, prosperity, and long life–but sometimes they are just there for people to enjoy. Let’s delve into the traditional dishes different parts of the world celebrate this new year with!

Spain: 12 grapes

The people of Spain would gather at the clock tower in Puerta del Sol to ring in the new year. While most of us would chant the big countdown to midnight, those out at the tower or watching the broadcast from home would eat one grape for every toll of the clock bell. Some would even peel and seed them to be as efficient as possible when midnight comes!

Mexico: Tamales

These snacks are pretty much the star of any special occasion in Mexico. They are corn dough stuffed with meat, cheese, and other additional ingredients typically wrapped in a corn husk. On New Year’s Eve, these little pockets are usually served with menudo–a soup with tripe and hominy. Groups of women in the family would gather to make hundreds of these to share with friends, family, and neighbors.

Netherlands: Olliebollen 

Olliebollens (or fried oil balls) are scoops of dough typically spiked with raisins and currants. They are deep-fried in oil and then dusted with powdered sugar. These doughnut-like treats are usually sold by street carts and enjoyed on New Year’s Eve. 

Italy: Cotechino con lenticchie 

La Festa di San Silvestro is the Italian way of celebrating New Year’s Eve, often serving a stew and some fried dough to bring in good fortune. The Cotechino stew is made with lentils, sausage, and sometimes stuffed pig trotter. The fried balls, chiacchiere, are rolled in honey and sugar, ending the feast on a sweet note.