Lenticchie e Cotechino

Lentils with Pork Sausage
Lentils with Pork Sausage

 My grandparents migrated from Sicily to the U.S. in the 1950s, bringing many traditions with them. One that has been in my family for generations is eating lentils with pork sausage on New Years Eve. This tradition started in Italy and continues today. Many Italians eat this meal for good luck in the new year. In my family the story is told a bit differently. Lentils are cheap and the pork sausage is made from the leftover parts of the pig so the whole meal symbolizes a peasant’s meal. At midnight the New Year's baby will pass over to see that you are eating a peasant meal and take pity on you, blessing you with good fortune in the new year. This tradition and story has been passed down from generation to generation in my family and it's an important part of who we are. We hope to keep it alive for many years to come. We go to Arthur Avenue every year to buy authentic Italian lentils as well as quality sausage because of its importance. Eating lentils for the New Year is part of Italian culture, but how we interpret this tradition and how we believe it to be symbolized is unique to us. Even though we cannot pinpoint when this tradition started, we know that it captures the essence of who we are and where we came from.

Place(s): Sicily, Italy and New York

– JT

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant