If anything could disarm a nuclear bomb, it would be kimchi — at least that’s what Koreans like to say. They eat kimchi several times a day, believing that the superfood can prevent and heal any kind of ailment, supposedly even broken bones. This may sound far-fetched, but Koreans swear by it.
Every culture has its own beliefs surrounding food and dining etiquette — often having to do with the healing powers of a certain food, whether it will bring good or bad fortune, or just a tradition that has lived on for centuries.
In Chinese culture, long noodles symbolize a long life. If you cut noodles before serving them to someone, you’re cutting short the life of that person. In Yoro, Honduras, it’s said that fish literally fall from the sky on one night of the year, called “lluvia de peces,” meaning “rain of fish.”
And in France, hunger and misfortune will come to anyone who handles a loaf of bread upside-down or places it on the table upside-down.
They can seem like myths. But whether or not you believe them, many cultures live (and eat) according to these beliefs.
1. 12 Grapes at Midnight — Mexico and Spain
Each of 12 grapes eaten at the chime of midnight on New Year’s Eve represents a wish and brings good luck in the new year.
2. Chewing Gum at Night — Turkey
If you’re chewing gum at night in Turkey, you’re chewing the flesh of the dead.
3. Kimchi Cures All — Korea
Koreans say that if anything could disarm a nuclear bomb, it would be kimchi. They believe that kimchi can heal anything and that eating it every day will keep you well.
4. Raining Fish — Honduras
It’s said that fish literally fall from the sky on one night of the year (called “lluvia de peces,” meaning “rain of fish”) in Yoro, Honduras.
See more unusual food myths from around the globe.
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