Foods for a prosperous new year

Many of us know that eating pork on New Year’s Day is considered good luck, but did you know there are other foods that are eaten for good luck, and even some to avoid eating on New Year’s Day? Check out our list of traditional New Year’s Day foods.


This just might be the most famous of traditional New Year’s fare. The idea is that pigs symbolize progress, because it pushes forward and roots itself in the ground before moving. In the United States, pork symbolizes wealth and prosperity.

Black Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas are considered lucky because of their penny-like appearance and abundance. These are traditionally served in a dish called Hoppin’ John. (Recipe Below)


Spaniards eat 12 grapes at midnight, one grape for each stroke of the clock. Each grape also represents a different month. Grape growers in Spain began this practice in 1909 to help with a grape surplus, and this tradition has spread to Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Ecuador and Peru.

Unlucky Foods

There are a few foods considered to be unlucky to eat on New Year’s. You may want to avoid lobster and chicken. Lobsters move backwards and could lead to setbacks in the new year, while chicken scratches backwards, which may cause regret or dwelling in the past.

Hoppin’ John


  • 1 tablespoon Heinen’s Olive Oil
  • 1 large ham hock
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • 1 quart Heinen’s Culinary Chicken Stock
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
  • Salt, black pepper and cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
  • 3 cups steamed white rice


Heat oil in a large soup pot, add the ham hock and sear on all sides for 4 minutes. Add the onion, celery, red pepper and garlic, cook for 4 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas, stock, bay leaves, thyme and seasonings. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the peas are creamy and tender, stirring occasionally. If the liquid evaporates, add more water or stock. Adjust seasonings and garnish with green onions. Serve over rice.

Makes 10 servings

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