Italians rely on food rather than four leaf clovers for luck. So celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some traditional “lucky” Italian foods. Like these.
In Italy coin-shaped lentils are symbolic of good fortune and prosperity. This custom comes from an ancient Roman tradition of giving a scarsella (a small leather satchel used to carry money or documents) filled with lentils at the end of the year in the hope that each lentil would turn into a coin.
Pork in Italy represents the fullness and richness of life. On New Year’s Eve lentils are often eaten with cotechino, a large pork sausage (Cotechino con Lenticchie) or with zampone (stuffed pig’s trotter).
Candies and confections with almonds like torrone or raisins and dried fruit (frutta secca) found in cakes and breads celebrate la bella vita. The small round-shaped fruits and nuts symbolize fruitfulness and abundance.
In the Piedmont and Lombardy regions of Italy, prosperity is symbolized by rice grains. The golden grains of a Milanese risotto would make a perfect addition to Corn Beef and Cabbage for an Italian inspired St. Patrick’s Day