The New Year’s Grapes Of Hope

By La Cosmopolatina

One of the most widely spread traditions in Latin America is that of eating 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. We’ve all done it – stuffing the grapes down our throats as fast as we can before we grab our empty suitcases and go for a walk around the block.  And how many of our grape-wishes have come true?

Um, well, that’s not the point. The point is that it is a fun and hopeful tradition to share with family and friends and add to the night’s merriment. If you want to add a twist to the old ritual try some of these delightful ideas, courtesy of the California Table Grape Commission:

  • Serve them in style! Personalize bunches of grapes for your guests and serve them in champagne flutes with a name tag. You can also package them in decorative party bags or even place them on a toothpick to make fresh grape skewers.
  • Grapes can be easily “frosted” with sugar, spices and finely chopped nuts. Simply dip clusters in liquid gelatin before rolling each grape in your favorite mixture. Use them to decorate cookie plates, cakes, puddings, mousses and more.
  • Ask guests to write out a wish and drop it in a hat, then pick one out just before midnight. When they eat their grapes, they’ll learn of the secret wish for 2012 and have the choice to eat a 13th grape to honor it.
  • In some countries eating a 13th grape is believed to ensure good luck, so you might want to round off your wish list with an extra grape for good measure.

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