Get lucky in the new year with these foods

Get lucky in the new year with these foods

A variety of traditions and superstitions attend New Year’s, such as kissing at midnight or opening the front door to let the old year escape. But some of the best-known traditions revolve around food, especially foods deemed lucky for the new year. To try out some of these luck-inducing delights, visit these local restaurants. —Laura Billingsley, Special to Juice

Black-eyed peas:

This food has long been associated with the new year, and the reasons are two-fold. Some say the small beans look like coins. Second, black-eyed peas are an ordinary dish: tasty, but nothing fancy. By showing some humility on New Year’s, you set the stage for good fortune later on. Locally, you can find black-eyed peas on the Sunday buffet at Patton’s Restaurant & Catering (they’re sometimes available other days as well). The Sunday buffet costs $15 and features soul food favorites like cornbread dressing, fried chicken, jambalaya and peach cobbler. Find it: Patton’s Restaurant and Catering, 1552 E. Grand Ave., Suite D, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11 a.m. -2:30 p.m. and 4:30-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 515-265-2203,

Soba noodles:

Want a long life filled with good fortune? Then slurp your soba noodles without breaking them. The long noodles represent longevity in Japan, so getting the whole noodle into your mouth is lucky for your future. Some people even prefer not to chew the noodles. At Appare Steakhouse, try soba noodles in a number of dishes, including nabe yaki ($13), a bowl filled with vegetables, egg and chicken in a clear broth. Find it: Appare Steakhouse, 3769 86th St., Urbandale, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon-9 p.m. Sunday, 515-252-8608,

Collard greens and corn bread:

These side dishes are often served up for New Year’s, especially in the South. While they are quite different foods, the reason they’re lucky is the same — they bear a resemblance to money. Collard greens are said to look like folded cash, while the golden hue of cornbread brings to mind a gilded bar. Eating these “rich” foods on New Year’s is said to promote prosperity in the coming year. You can find both dishes at Woody’s Smoke Shack, where fresh-baked cornbread is always available, and collards ($2 for a side, $6.95 for a pint) are served Wednesday or are available for catering. Find it: Woody’s Smoke Shack, 2511 Cottage Grove Ave., 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, 515-277-0005,


To ensure a fat new year, munch on some pork. These days, people are probably more interested in a plump pocketbook than literal rotundity, but either way a pig represents the zenith of the abundant life. Pigs also root forward in the ground, which symbolizes moving forward during the coming year. Eating pork for New Year’s is common in many cultures, including Germany, where it’s often eaten along with sauerkraut. Like collard greens, kraut is said to symbolize wealth (since the cabbage used to be green). At Hessen Haus, try both foods by ordering the SchweinsHaxe ($13.99), a pork shank served with a side of sauerkraut and German potato salad. Find it: Hessen Haus, 101 Fourth St., kitchen hours 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 12 noon-10 p.m. Sunday, 515-288-2520,

About the Author

Laura is contributor to Juice Magazine.

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