Superstitions exist in every culture and it’s always interesting to learn about new ones from around the world. These food-related superstitions, in particular, seem very intriguing. Here are five superstitions (and their origin stories) that you may just want to remember next time you’re sitting down for a meal.
Your Clumsiness Might Be a Premonition
In the Philippines, it is said that dropping a utensil on the ground means that there is a visitor on their way. If you drop a fork, it signifies a male visitor, while a spoon signifies a female visitor. Philip pinos also believe that breaking open an egg and finding two yolks inside is a sign that wealth is on its way to you (and a hearty breakfast!).
Look to Your Tortillas for a Prophecy
The Mexican culture has no shortage of superstitions, and a surprising number of them have to do with tortillas. No one specifies flour or corn, so play it safe and assume these apply to both.
The most notable is the tortilla warning system. If you drop a tortilla on the ground, it will bring about the unexpected arrival of one’s in-laws. Plus, you’ve ruined a perfectly good tortilla! Even if you’re not particularly superstitious, what’s the harm in being a little more careful next time you’re making burritos.
There’s also the story of the tortilla prophecy–in other words, if a tortilla puffs up while you’re heating it, you’re ready to be married. In the absence of a good air bubble, it signifies bad luck and could have you living with your parents forever.
Serve an Extra Bowl to Avoid Bad Luck
In Vietnam, it’s traditional to serve two bowls of rice (or even more) at the table. One is reserved for you, while the other is reserved for the spirits. Meanwhile, the Vietnamese say to be extra careful with fish sauce in the kitchen. Breaking a bottle of fish sauce is expected to bring about bad luck.
If you find yourself guilty of breaking tradition (or a bottle), you can reverse bad luck by finding a fertilized duck egg and consuming the fetus, which is a dish known as “balut.”
Don’t Cut Your Noodles
An Italian may look upon you with disgrace if they see you cutting a noddle, but the Chinese do it for a different reason. In China, long noodles are thought to symbolize a long life, so it’s bad luck to cut a noodle short. Instead of trying to use a fork or biting into them, slurp them from the edge of the bowl (or with the help of chopsticks) to demonstrate good etiquette and ward off an untimely end.
Save Your Fish Scales for Prosperity’s Sake
In Slovakia, fish scales are thought to resemble coins, which is why people put them into their wallets. It’s thought to bring about prosperity, but the superstition actually has longer roots than that.
Before you tuck those fish scales into your wallet, you should begin by leaving them under your plate or tablecloth at Christmas dinner. This is thought to bring prosperity onto the house, but if that doesn’t work, we suppose that you go ahead with tossing them in your purse.
How long do you need to keep them there? This isn’t exactly a lottery. It’s said that you should carry them all year long to ensure any prosperity you enjoy doesn’t run out. Come Christmas, you’ll take the newest scales and repeat the process. What a simple way to guarantee an enriched life.