Mamma Mia! Italian Food Superstitions

Food and the culinary arts form a huge part of Italian culture; it’s no wonder then that the acts of cooking and eating are surrounded by a lot of superstitious beliefs. Italians are known to be passionate about what they love (food just so happens to be one of their favourite things) and as Hugo Chetcuti knows, we do have funny beliefs and habits pertaining to the things we care about. Here are a few favourite Italian superstitions about food, brought to you by Hugo Chetcuti and team.

All the Single Ladies… and Men

Still searching for The One? Then don’t sit at the corner of the dinner table. Italians believe that single men and women who sit at these positions will never marry.

Three Cheers to Good Wine

Never toast with water in Italy – it will bring bad luck. Always make sure you’ve got a good bottle of red or bubbly. Non-drinkers and children are allowed a drop of red wine in their beverage.

Thirteen’s a Crowd

If you remember your Bible well, you’ll know that there were 13 people seated at the Last Supper – Jesus and his 12 apostles. We all know how the story goes: food, wine, betrayal and death (though later on we get the Resurrection and the reason why we can gorge ourselves on chocolate bunnies on Easter, yay!) Anyway. It’s believed that Judas was the thirteenth person to sit, which is why it’s bad luck to have thirteen people sitting at dinner.

Oil Spill

Butterfingers take note – according to Italians, it’s bad luck to spill oil or salt at the table. This belief probably stems from the fact that these food items were expensive to procure in olden times. Many Europeans also believe that throwing some of the spilled salt over your left shoulder will ward off evil spirits.

A Bread Basket of Kisses

This particular superstition also has its roots in Roman Catholicism. The breaking of bread is associated with the Last Supper, when Jesus passed it around the table and let it stand for his body which he was about to sacrifice for humanity. Italians honour the religious significance of bread by kissing any breadcrumbs or crusts before throwing them away.

There’s no better place to savour food the Italian way than Hugo’s Pizza and Pasta, one of the most popular eateries in St. Julian’s owned by Hugo Chetcuti. Whether it’s a hearty lunch or a sumptuous dinner, we’ve got a heavenly assortment of the best to satisfy all appetites. Just watch out where you throw those breadcrumbs…

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