Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Jessie Baude

These are the craziest cooking superstions out there—are they truth or myth?

MyRecipes
July 24, 2018

Is it bad luck to gift a knife to a friend? Is it safe to take bananas on a fishing trip? While you may not be asking these questions everyday, there's plenty of paranoid people out there who hold true to these wacky superstitions. So whether it's Friday the 13th, Christmas, or your best friend's birthday, here are 10 cooking susperstitions you should keep in mind, plus delicious recipes to enjoy with them. 

Apple Peels Can Predict True Love

Photo: Hector Sanchez

Next time you bake an apple pie (or feel like finding Prince Charming) peel the skin away from the apple for as long as you can until it breaks. Toss the skin onto the counter—and see what letter it resembles. The letter that the apple peel resembles is the first letter of your true love's name. Bonus points if your peel is long enough to spell their entire name.

View Recipe: Caramel Apple Blondie Pie

Cutting a Cake Before Christmas Eve

Photo: Hactor Manuel Sanchez; Food Styling: Torie Cox; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas

Christmas is fraught with urban legends. Our least favorite is the belief that cutting into your Christmas cake before Christmas Eve brings bad luck—and at least one slice of it 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.

View Recipe: Peppermint Cake with Seven-Minute Frosting 

Bananas on a Fishing Boat

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

It sounds like a fishy story to us, but for centuries fishermen have vehemently refused to have bananas on their boats. 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!).

View Recipe: Banana Snack Cake

Eat Black Eyed Peas on New Year's Day

Photo: Jennifer CAusey, Food Styling: Chelsea Zimmer; Prop Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Likely crafted by a pea farmer, the tradition of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day for good luck in the months ahead is as old as dirt, and some might argue just as appealing. Dress your luck-laden veggies with chopped green onions and a dash of hot sauce.

View Recipe: Smoky-Black Eyed Peas

Garlic Keeps the Vampires Away

Time Inc. Video Studio

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 dishes. Roasting garlic in the oven mellows and sweetens its flavor—try this easy Instant Pot Roasted Garlic.

View Recipe: Instant Pot Roasted Garlic

Long Noodles = 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.

View Recipe: Cold Noodle Salad with Sesame Crab

Throwing Rice at Weddings

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To celebrate their life-long vows, many newlywed 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. In all honesty, scattering uncooked rice all over the place sounds like a hazard (and a mess), consider throwing rose petals or blowing bubbles at the duo and save your rice for a tasty side dish.

View Recipe: Easy Oven Rice

Spilling Salt Brings Bad Luck

Sara Tane

Watch your shakers! Some consider it bad luck to spill salt—but the superstition actually originates from the remedy. You can reverse your impending misfortune by throwing a handful of salt over your left shoulder. Skip the risk (and keep your salt shakers upright) and make these craveworthy salted chocolate chips cookies instead.

View Recipe: The Ultimate Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie

Never Pass a Hot Pepper to a Friend

Photo: Gina DeSimone; Food Styling: Blakeslee Giles; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

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 with your ridiculous request.

View Recipe: Taco-Tot Casserole

Don't Give a Knife as a Gift

photo by mburt via getty images

According to an old superstition, it's bad luck to give a knife as a gift to a friend. If you do, you run the risk of "cutting" the friendship. However, you can get around this by attaching a penny to the knife before gifting it, which the recipient must immediately return to you as "payment." Sounds a bit...silly?

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