Many holidays and special events have food traditions tied to the event’s history, culture, and location, as well as developed collective interests over time.
New Year’s Eve is no different, with various food traditions emerging across the U.S. and the world. From Southern comfort foods to seasonal eats, there are several dinners, snacks, and desserts people love to eat for both the good taste and good luck!
I’ll discuss the traditions around food, share why I love them, and help you decide whether you want to include them in your celebrations.
Here are some popular New Year’s Eve food traditions enjoyed by many on December 31st.
One of my favorite New Year's Eve food traditions comes from Central America - tamales.
Tamales are cornhusks filled with various fillings, typically including meats, cheeses, and vegetables. They are then steamed until the corn husk is cooked through.
I love tamales because they are so savory, dynamic, and filling.
My favorite tamales are the ones with chicken and cheese, but there are endless possibilities for tamale fillings, so you and your loved ones can have loads of fun while making these on New Year's Eve.
Pomegranate is a little different than the rest of these food traditions because instead of eating it, the tradition is to throw pomegranate seeds on the ground and smash them in front of your house to bring good luck.
Some people, especially those with Turkish and Greek roots, see the bright, vibrant red color of pomegranate seeds represents life, fertility, vitality, and prosperity.
If you do want to incorporate pomegranate into your New Year's Eve dinner, there are many ways to do so!
I like to add pomegranate seeds to my salad for a pop of color and sweetness. You can also use pomegranate juice to make a festive cocktail.
Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.