Five Fortuitous New Year's Foods

Not like you need any excuse to stuff yourself during the holidays, but take heed of what you eat around December 31st if you're interested in a little extra good fortune. Depending on who you ask, certain foods -- if consumed on New Year's -- will bring you luck in 2011. Here are five fortuitous foods for the New Year.

5. Greens. Eating foods that resemble money on New Year's will supposedly bring you wealth in the next 365 days. If you do chow down on a whole mess of sauerkraut, spinach or collard greens, you can at least bank on a clean colon come the first of January.

4. Soba Noodles. The longer the better, according to Japanese tradition, which dictates that eating these lengthy buckwheat noodles on New Year's Day will promote a long, happy life.

3. Black-Eyed Peas. Many residents of the American Deep South dine on black-eyed peas in the hopes that the adage "eat poor on New Year's, eat fat the rest of the year" proves true. These plain legumes are hardly party food, but perhaps they become more exciting if you eat them while listening to Fergie? Har.

2. Grapes. But not just any old bunch: securing good luck requires calculated consumption. Citizens of Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Peru, and a host of other countries believe eating 12 grapes at midnight (one for each month of the year and stroke of the clock) means smooth sailing in 2011.

1. Donuts. Well, technically, any ring-shaped cake to symbolize the year coming full circle. The Greeks have their sugary almond vasilopita, the Dutch, their butter breuher, but Americans, born and bred to crave some circular fried goodness after a night of revelry, should go for the donut.

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Joanna O'Leary