Freaky Food Superstitions

In honor of Friday the 13th, we show you how to find your true love in an apple peel, shorten a life by cutting noodles, and frustrate fishermen with bananas.

  • Soba Noodle Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
    Ashley Johnson,, Randy Mayor; Melanie J. Clarke

    Long Noodles for a Long Life

    China has a rich history of foods and holidays that celebrate luck and tradition. When planning your next Asian-themed dinner party, include a noodle dish on the menu, but serve the noodles uncut. Some Chinese cultures believe the long noodle symbolizes a long life, so cutting the noodles before serving symbolizes cutting life short.
  • Double-Crusted Apple Pie
    Ashley Johnson,, Becky Luigart-Stayner

    True Love, Found!

    Next time you bake an apple pie–or feel like finding Prince Charming–peel the fruit until the skin breaks. Toss the skin onto the counter and see what letter forms in the peel. The letter you see in the peel is the first letter of your true love's name. Bonus points if your peel is long enough to spell their entire name.
  • Peppermint Ice Cream Cake
    Ashley Johnson,, Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Santa Ate It

    Christmas is fraught with urban legends. Our least favorite is the belief that cakes can only be cut on Christmas Eve, and at least one slice must be saved for Christmas Day. Waiting to cut a cake like Peppermint Ice Cream Cake can be hard, but making yourself stop before eating the last piece can be torturous.
  • Chocolate-Banana Snack Cake
    Ashley Johnson,, Randy Mayor

    That's Bananas

    It sounds like a fishy story to us, but for centuries fishermen have vehemently refused to have bananas on their boat. Rumor has it that an illness once befell one fisherman after eating the fruit, or at least that's how he explained his poor catch that day. If you do go fishing with a superstitious angler and must bring a banana, hide it inside an innocent chocolate cake, and don't offer to share.
  • Polenta Rounds With Black-eyed Pea Topping
    Ashley Johnson,

    Peas on Earth

    Likely crafted by a pea farmer, the tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's is as old as dirt, and some might argue just as appealing. Dress your luck-laden veggies with fresh cilantro, ground red pepper, and a dash of sour cream.
  • Roasted Garlic-Potato Soup
    Ashley Johnson,, Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr

    Ward Off Dracula

    While it tends to pop up most often at Halloween when ghosts and ghouls run freely among us, the belief that garlic wards off vampires, evil spirits, and unwanted first-date kisses has long been passed from generation to generation. Fortunately, garlic has tons of good qualities, too. It helps prevent the flu, clears congestion, and adds great flavor to lots of easy dishes, like this hearty potato soup.
  • Basmati Rice with Basil and Mint
    Ashley Johnson,, Karry Hosford

    You May Now Pelt the Bride and Groom

    To celebrate their life-long vows, many couples hand out tiny bundles of uncooked rice for well-wishers to toss in their direction as they leave. The act is meant to symbolize the hope of good health and prosperity. Now that the price of rice is rising, consider throwing rose petals or blowing bubbles at the duo and save your rice for a tasty side dish.
  • Rock Salt-Roasted Potatoes
    Ashley Johnson,, Becky Luigart-Stayner

    Bad Luck Befalls Spillers

    Mind your shakers! Spilling salt is the only acceptable cause for throwing food in most homes in America. The unlucky slip can only be remedied by throwing a handful of salt over the left shoulder. Skip the risk and keep your shakers in the kitchen to make this tasty potato dish.
  • Butterflied Shrimp with Habanero Tomatillo Salsa
    Ashley Johnson,, Photography: Randy Mayor; Styling: Jan Gautro

    Burning Friendship Bridges

    When working in the kitchen with friends, never pass hot peppers to anyone. Instead, place them on the table and allow your cooking buddy to pick them up. Supposedly this will keep disagreements from coming between you, though you do risk annoying your sous chef when you avoid passing directly.

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