Happy New Year!

Experts at Perrier-Jouet agree that many individuals are looking forward to popping open a bottle of champagne and toasting the season. While there is no denying that this is often the preferred celebratory practice for New Year's Eve, many will admit to being intimidated by that bottle of bubbly and are often misinformed when it comes to the facts about champagne.So here is what you need to know. Unless the champagne comes from the Champagne region of France, it's not really champagne. All wines made outside of Champagne, France are Sparkling Wine. Champagne (with the exception of blanc de blancs) is made with two red variety grapes: Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as one white grape, the chardonnay grape. Thus, champagne is really a wine. It should not be served ice cold. The colder it is- the fewer tastes and aromas are experienced. Ice water will chill a bottle much faster (in approximately 20 minutes) than a bucket of ice. To avoid injury, a hand should always be placed firmly over the wire cage holding the cork to properly open a bottle. If a bottle is re-corked properly, it will not go flat and still be bubbly. And they remind us to drink responsibly.  


The song, "Auld Lang Syne," is sung at the stroke of midnight in almost every English-speaking country in the world to bring in the new year. At least partially written by Robert Burns in the 1700's, it was first published in 1796 after his death. Early variations of the song were sung prior to 1700 and inspired Burns to produce the modern rendition. An old Scotch tune, "Auld Lang Syne" literally means "old long ago," or simply, "the good old days." (Link for the music and lyrics.)     http://www.wilstar.com/xmas/auldlangsyne.htm


Many believe you can affect the luck you have throughout the coming year by what you do or eat on the first day of the year. For that reason, it is common to celebrate the first few minutes of a brand new year in the company of family and friends. It is believed that the first visitor on New Year's Day will bring either good luck or bad luck the rest of the year, and it is particularly lucky if that visitor happens to be a tall dark-haired man.

Traditional New Year foods are also thought to bring luck. Many cultures believe that anything in the shape of a ring is good luck, because it symbolizes "coming full circle," completing a year's cycle. For that reason, the Dutch believe that eating donuts on New Year's Day will bring good fortune. Many parts of the U.S. celebrate by consuming black-eyed peas, and these legumes are typically accompanied by either hog jowls or ham. The hog, and thus its meat, is considered lucky because it symbolizes prosperity. Cabbage is another "good luck" vegetable that is consumed on New Year's Day by many. Cabbage leaves are also considered a sign of prosperity, being representative of paper currency. In some regions, rice is a lucky food that is eaten on New Year's Day.

Now that you are all set to celebrate, all of us at Food Processing wish you a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2009.