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Foodie Superstition: A Look at the Most Prevalent Ideas

Thu, Mar 16, 2017 at 1:51PM

Foodie Superstition: A Look at the Most Prevalent Ideas

Few holidays are as connected to luck (or, in many cases, the absence of it) as St. Patrick's Day. While people gear up with the "luck of the Irish" or don their best green outfit to get their odds on their side, they may not realize that they face an entire gallery of luck and chance every day--in the form of their kitchen pantry!

Food has long been a source of superstitions--some we laugh at, others we swear by. In today's blog, we will be taking a look at just a few of the many food-centric superstitions that have existed throughout history.

Garlic and vampires

For about as long as garlic has been used, it's been tied to healing uses--so perhaps it comes as no surprise that literary and cultural heroes would use garlic to keep vampires away, too, as a sort of protective aid. Another possible explanation is less glamorous but a lot simpler--maybe the vampires' innately great sense of smell makes garlic too overbearing for them?

One bad apple spoils the bunch

While this proverb may seem to have more real-world applications than kitchen uses, it actually does hold true for your favorite fruits. The apple is one fruit that releases ethylene as it ripens--while that natural, undetectable gas can help speed along the ripening process of nearby fruits (like bananas, for example), it can also lead to unwanted results when a not-so-perfect apple emits enough ethylene to push its neighboring apples over the perfectly-ripe edge.

Spilt salt

You may have been told not to cry over spilt milk--but is spilt salt another story? Some say that spilling this classic table seasoning is a sign of bad things to come because it was spilled by notorious figure Judas Iscariot in the painting, The Last Supper.

Bananas on board

Bananas make for a great morning snack as you prepare to spend the day outdoors--on the water, for example. But try to bring a banana on board, and many a seasoned captain will tell you to leave it on shore. Why is that? Bananas are said to lead to poor days of fishing or misfortune on the water--which might be explained by a bit of shipping history. Since ships transporting bananas were often in a rush to get the fruit to its destination (before spoiling), those ships were more likely to make dangerous maneuvers and face problems on the water.

While bringing a banana on board today probably won't derail your day of fishing, it's a risk many boaters are not willing to take.

You tell us--do you think there's any truth to these unique superstitions, or do you leave kitchen rules to the cookbook? Let us know below!

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