Common Food Superstitions Slideshow
September 27, 2012
The idea that spilling salt is a bad omen that needs to be counteracted by tossing some over your shoulder is probably the most widely known food superstition and it’s also one of the oldest — dating back at least to ancient Rome where its qualities as a preservative made it a symbol of enduring friendship.
Superstition has it that rosemary planted by the doorstep will keep witches away. This one really works — we have some rosemary growing by our back door and all the witches that have ever given us trouble have tried to get in the front.
In Japan, it is bad luck to stick chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, as this part of a funeral tradition. Similarly, it is bad luck to pass food from one set of chopsticks to another, which mimics a ceremony for placing bone fragments in an urn after cremation.
Bread and Butter
This one’s not strictly food-related, but it mentions food and it’s really sweet. When a couple or friends are walking and have to separate to go around an obstacle like a pole, they both have to say “Bread and butter” to prevent something coming between them in life. The idea is that once bread has been buttered, it can’t be separated, just like the friends saying it.