Monday, December 26, 2011

Why is Pork and Sauerkraut a New Years Tradition?

Why Is Pork & Sauerkraut a New Years Tradition?
Shannon was looking up Welsh New Years traditions the other day and discovered the concept of divination where you take egg whites in water, and they're to spell our the initials of your suitor. Of course we also had mince pies. 

Being also of part German, I remember Grandma saying pork and sauerkraut were good luck. I've always been a big fan of pork kielbasa and sauerkraut personally, and it's a fairly common southern meal here in the south as it's commonly served with macaroni. 

The reason for the luck? Pork from a "fat" pig, means a "abundant" year ahead, and the kraut, being from green cabbage, which resembles money. "ich habe Schwein gehabt," or I have had pig," which means colloquially that: I have had good luck!"

Speaking of the south, found this tidbit interesting:

African Americans in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries made one of the most enduring contributions to the modern holiday. Starting in the Carolinas but extending throughout the South, hoppin' John and greens became traditional New Year's fare, black-eyed peas bringing luck and the rice (which swelled in the cooking) and greens (like money) bringing prosperity. ---Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, Andrew F. Smith [Oxford University Press:New York] 2004, Volume 2 (p. 189-90)