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7 New Year’s Food Traditions We No Longer Celebrate

Before the troublesome Romans spread Christianity to northern Europe, the people there held pagan ceremonies to celebrate the New Year. One of his in that ritual was Hogmanay. This celebration involved people going door to door to visit each other after midnight. As a large part of Hogmanay, “first footing” refers to being the first to set foot in the new year. To be clear, first scaffolds are not as common as they used to be, but they can still be found in Scotland and some other British locations.

The first footer is expected to bring a gift that guarantees prosperity for the year, and the traditional food gift is a pastry-wrapped fruit cake called black bread (via Sunday Post). Made from a large loaf pan, the typical black bread is filled with spices such as raisins, currants, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. When black bread is baked, it becomes a flaky pastry on the outside and condenses on the inside to form a sticky solid that’s more like candy than pie filling (via Wisegeek).

Of course, you need something to wash down the soggy insides of black bread, and a hot pint (or het pint) fits the bill nicely. It’s made with ale, nutmeg, two beaten eggs, a glass of cold ale, and a healthy dose of whiskey.