Italian Food Superstitions – Ten of the best!

6 February 2015 || Italian life

Italian Food Superstitions.

Italians are generally very superstitious people (especially the further south you go). They may deny this but even the most logical, sensible Italians seem unable to resist following the many age-old rituals that are such a big part of every day life. Anyone ever placed garlic placed on the television to help their football team win? No, thought not…’s a frequent occurrence in my Italian family’s household!

Naturally, being a nation of foodies many of the superstitions revolve around the kitchen, so here’s our top 10 favorite italian food related dos and don’ts:

1) Never seat 13 or 17 people at the table for a meal– 17 is the unluckiest number of all in Italy and there were 13 guests at the Last Supper… Just invite one more person or seat one unfortunate guest at a separate table in another room!

2) Remember never to cross your knife and fork on your plate at the table or you will be insulting the symbol of the cross and are likely to have a fight with someone very soon.

3) When making a toast always look people in the eye otherwise you will be unlucky in love for seven years.

4) Do not cross arms when making the above toast…

5) … Always take a sip before you put the glass down…

6) … Never make a toast with a glass of water…

7) … And if you spill any wine be sure to wet your fingers with it and dab it behind every person’s ears!

8) Never place a loaf of bread upside down. Bread has a special place in Italian life and also represents the body of Christ for Catholics.

9) Always kiss any leftover bread before throwing it away – however mouldy.

10) Eat plenty of lentils on New Years Eve (and always wear red underwear).  The more lentils you eat the more money you will make in the coming year.


Have you had any luck with the lentils or come across any other Italian food superstitions we didn’t mention? Let us know and we’ll add them to our list!

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