13 Food & Cooking Superstitions from Around the World

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Did you know that holes in bread mean bad luck, or that you should never cut a noodle in half? Yeah, I didn’t think so. This Friday the 13th, protect yourself and your loved ones by reading up on these 13 eerie food and cooking superstitions from around the world.

(Image credit: Cambria Bold)

13 Cooking Superstitions from Around the World

1. The Portents of Eggs

There are many food superstitions surrounding eggs. There’s the idea that when you break an egg you have to crush the ends of the egg too, or a witch will collect the shell, build a boat, and start a crazy storm out at sea.

It’s also thought that if you get an egg with two yolks, it means you’ll have twins.

2. Rice for Joy

It’s thought that throwing uncooked rice at newlyweds will bring wealth and prosperity to the happy couple. Have you ever done this at a wedding?

3. Be Cautious with Your Tea

Apparently you’ll bring bad luck if you pour two cups of tea from the same pot.

4. Unlucky Knife

It’s thought that you should never gift someone a knife, because it represents “cutting ties” with that person.

5. Beware Bread Bubbles

Some believe that if you cut open a loaf of bread and it has a large bubble or hole, then someone you know will die in the near future. Bakers, beware!

6. The Holy Power of Garlic

You might have heard that garlic keeps vampires away (any Buffy fans out there?), but it also fends off the curse of an evil eye.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

7. Grapes for a Sweet (or Sour) Life

Some in South America believe that you should eat 12 grapes, one by one, on New Year’s Eve at midnight to represent the 12 months of the year. If a grape is sweet, it means that month will be a good month. If the grape is sour, well, you can put the pieces together.

8. Don’t Cut the Noodle Short

In some Chinese cultures, it is thought that long noodles represent a long life. Therefore, if you cut your noodles before serving ’em, you’re also cutting your life short. Yikes!

9. No Bananas on the Boat

Apparently it’s not cool to bring bananas on fishing boats, because you’ll get sick or you won’t catch any fish.

10. Black-Eyed Peas for Luck

It’s an old belief that eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s will bring you good luck that year.

11. The Omen of Chopsticks

In China and Japan, it’s considered rude (and an omen of death!) to stick your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice.

12. Crack a Wishbone

You’ve probably heard of this one if you’re from the UK or the United States. The tradition is that two people pull on the wishbone until it breaks, and the person with the larger piece gets to make a wish.

13. Don’t Spill Salt!

It’s thought that if you spill salt it will bring you bad luck. In order to remedy the situation, you have to throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand. So, be careful!