Everyone knows that garlic wards off vampires and that spilling salt is terrible luck. But did you know that you should never cut a banana with a knife? And speaking of knives, did you know that you should never give a knife to a friend? If you’re constantly in the kitchen, you should probably consider these 21 superstitions so you don’t end up unmarried, childless, friendless, or worse.

1. Eggs & Egg Shells


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Eggs symbolize fertility, so farmers would scatter broken eggs into their fields hoping they would bring forth an abundant crop. Also, if you break open an egg and find two yolks, that means someone you know will be getting married or having twins. And when you're cracking your egg, make sure to crush the eggshell afterward: otherwise, legend has it, a witch will gather up the pieces, set sail, and cause terrible storms at sea.

2. Salt


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If you spill salt, you'll get bad luck. To remedy your misfortune, throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand to blind the devil and keep him from taking your soul. Risky business, using salt.

3. Bread


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If you cut open a loaf of bread and see a hole (a.k.a. a large air bubble), that means somebody will die soon. The hole in the bread represents a coffin (spooky!). You should also cut a cross into the top of your loaf before baking, otherwise the devil will sit on it and ruin your loaf. Now "hot cross buns" makes more sense.

4. Noodles


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In China, long noodles symbolize a long life. So you should never cut your noodles—that means you're cutting life short. Instead, you should slurp up long noodles up without breaking them.

5. Tea


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Tea, also used in divination (we won't get into that), has lots of superstitions connected to it. For instance, you should never put milk in your tea before the sugar, or you may never get married. Seemingly contradictory, undissolved sugar at the bottom of your cup means someone is in love with you. Spilling your tea means a stranger is about to visit you. And let only one person pour the tea—it's bad luck if the duty is shared.

6. Coffee


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If there are bubbles in your coffee, you should catch them on your spoon and eat them—you'll unexpectedly come into money. Or, we guess, expectedly, since you caught the bubbles, right?

7. Oranges


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Giving somebody an orange makes them fall in love with you. (We've tried. It hasn't worked. Yet.)

8. Rice


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Tossing rice at a newlywed couple supposedly brings the pair good health, wealth, happiness, and prosperity. We say: waste of perfectly good rice. (But not dangerous to birds!)

9. Silverware


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If you drop a fork, a woman will come to visit. A knife, a man will come to visit. A spoon, a child will come visit. So be careful when unloading the dishwasher!

10. Hot Peppers


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You should never hand a hot pepper directly to a friend—superstition has it that is will bring discord into the friendship. If you want to give your friend a jalapeño, put it on the table or counter and have them pick it up.

See all 21 food superstitions at bon appetit

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