No matter how much we love it, it’s not always fun and games when it comes to food. In fact, Asian culture is swimming with food superstitions. And they’re pretty weird, to say the least. Here’s some you might want to keep in mind while devouring your next meal.
1. Long noodles = A longer life
Rumour has it around Asia that the length of noodles reflects your lifespan, so don’t worry about making a mess slurping up long strands – you’ll be laughing at 100! That means you shouldn’t go cutting your noodles while eating either, or you’ll be essentially cutting your life short.
2. Last piece = An attractive partner
If you’re ever having a group meal in Thailand or China, don’t feel guilty for snagging the last piece remaining on the plate. Whether it’s the last piece of cake, last spring roll or last slice of pizza, enjoy it with the knowledge that you’ll be snagging a handsome/beautiful partner in the near future, too.
3. Chopsticks upright in rice = Unlucky
In China and Japan, it’s taboo to place your chopsticks upright in a bowl of rice, since it resembles the way incense sticks are placed during funerals or mourning periods when people offer food to the dead. So go ahead and enjoy that rice, just be careful how you place the chopsticks after.
4. Garlic = Keeping vampires away
This superstition exists pretty much throughout Asia, and it’s known to be the magic weapon against all evil, from the devil to the undead. In fact, Indians refer to garlic as the ‘Slayer of monsters’ (sorry Buffy, you’re out of a job). It also defends you against the blood-sucking villains which make you itch – mosquitos!
5. Katsudon = Winning
In Japan, it’s considered good luck to eat katsudon before a big competition or exam, since the word “katsu” translates to winning. So basically, you get to come in first place and you get to eat a katsudon? Sounds good to us.
6. Eggs = Bad results
Speaking of big competitions and exams, you’ll also want to stay away from eggs if you need that extra bit of luck. In Bangladesh, eggs are not to be eaten before you’re about to get important results. In fact, you should avoid looking at an egg altogether. Keep your eyes closed when you open that fridge in the morning.
7. Rice left in bowl = Pimples
If you’re concerned about skin care in any way, word on the street is that you should stay away from leaving rice left in your bowl. In Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, to name a few countries, the leftover rice will curse you into getting really bad acne in the near future. Well. Great excuse to lick that bowl clean.
8. Eating straight from a pan = Rain on your wedding day
Too lazy to put your food on a plate so you just eat straight from the pan? We’ve all been there. Just make sure you don’t have a wedding day coming up anytime soon. Bengalis believe doing so will guarantee it to pour down on your most special day.
9. Yoghurt with sugar = Good luck
If you’re in need of a little stroke of luck, you might want to try the old Indian method of eating yoghurt with added sugar. If you grew up in Bangladesh, you likely got a spoonful of it shoved down your mouth every time you had a big exam coming up.
10. Watermelon seeds = Grows trees in your stomach
Hands up if you still get scared when you eat watermelons because you can still hear the sound of your mother scolding you that “It’ll grow a tree in your stomach!” Yep. Better spit out those seeds. Asian watermelon eating childhood trauma.
11. Fish after milk / Milk after fish = Lifetime of ugliness
Apparently fish and milk are simply not a good combo in Pakistan, because if you eat one after another, it’s believed you’ll be ugly for an entire lifetime. Yeah, pretty extreme. but who wants to eat milk and fish, anyway?
Not so convinced? Skip the superstitions and just order food you love.