10 Mystical Tales Of Ordinary Foodstuffs

Ancient peoples mostly had formidable and fascinating stories about food, from a legends of mythological lands with outlandish spices to a tales of gods bequeathing amiability with dedicated cereals or cups of mind-altering enjoyment. But even a humblest equipment in a fridges and pantries have a abounding story in mysticism and mythology.

10 Salt

Salt shaker

In many cultures around a world, salt is deliberate a pitch of purity, a square with a ability to sentinel off immorality spirits. In European folklore, salt is mostly used to keep witches during bay, while a Quebecois believed trace salt during a doorstep would dismay off lutins, mischievous imps that would mostly spirit horses.

Salt also plays an critical partial in a Jewish and Christian traditions, and complicated advocates of devout crusade see it as a arms in a quarrel conflicting Satan. After all, salt is mentioned many times in a Bible in courtesy to cooking, rituals, and covenants with God. Buddhism and Shinto have identical views on a efficiency of salt in repulsion immorality spirits.

Many complicated Okinawans magnify new cars with salt and lift tiny packets of salt around with them in their vehicles for protection. Following a Sep 11 attacks, heightened confidence checks during US bases on a island saw guards doubt internal workers about a puzzling bags of white powder in their vehicles. Evidently, a “mysterious” white powder was viewed as a probable threat, notwithstanding a internal customs.

For a Zuni people of a American Southwest, one of a many critical deities is a Salt Mother, or Ma’l Oyattsik’i, who dwells in a Zuni Sacred Lake. According to their verbal tradition, she once lived most closer to a Zuni people though relocated to a lake after being angry by their behavior. This is because a Zuni and other adjacent tribes contingency transport there in sequence to obtain salt, that is an critical partial of eremite ceremonies and normal baptismal rituals.

9 Potatoes

Clean healthful potatoes from a healthy farm

The common potato once had a formidable time anticipating acceptance as a foodstuff in Europe, though it was eventually adopted—rather enthusiastically—for a folk recovering powers. In Scotland and Ireland, a potato was used to provide rheumatism, and in other several tools of a British Isles it was used for cramps, boils, asthma, and bruise throats.

Similar folklore seemed in North America, where a potato placed underneath a bed was suspicion to support source and forestall night sweats. Some even believed 3 potatoes carried in a pockets prevented hemorrhoids. There is small justification of such folk remedies among Native Americans, solely in a box of restorative warts. This suggests a potato remedies originated in Europe and widespread behind to a Americas.

While a potato originated in a Americas, a Muslim Hui people of China have a unequivocally conflicting fable about a origin. They contend that while Muhammad was on his holy campaign, his army was inspired and holed adult in a valley, so he prayed to Allah for help. He afterwards systematic his group to build a mill hearth, fill it with blazing firewood, and place vast stones inside before sealing it with clay. After dual hours, a abode was non-stop to exhibit a stones had spin potatoes. Fortified by a feast, a Islamic soldiers won a subsequent conflict and after found potato plants flourishing in a valley.

8 Milk


Irish folklore spoke of a good cow named Glas Ghaibhleann that wandered a country, bestowing a smashing divert with 100 percent cream ease for giveaway to anyone who approached. Many towns were named after this cow, and some believed a animal represented Ireland itself. Various explanations for a cow embody that she was a angel savage belonging to a aristocrat of a sea or a underworld, or presumably she was a guise for a enchantress Bo Find.

The disappearance of giveaway divert in Ireland was associated in legends to several disagreeable people who attempted to take a milk, so causing a quadruped to fly divided or disappear. One critical story has someone milking a good cow into a unfounded form called Poll na Leamhnachta, or “hole of honeyed milk,” causing her to leave in distress. Tales of a good divert cow were also famous in other tools of a British Isles, and one story from Wales has a cow declining from a Earth after a miserly residents of a hollow plotted to spin her into steak-and-kidney pie.

Some contend these legends are distantly associated to ancient Indian misconceptions of “cloud cows” that would sleet divert from a sky. According to a stories, these bovines were eventually prisoner by a demon Vritra to move fast to a Earth. Indeed, divert has a special stress in Indian mythology, where breast divert symbolized a delicate visionary energy equal to that of a man’s semen. Additionally, divert from a breasts of a enchantress Parvati brought immortality. Both Indian and Irish legends also pronounce of immorality group killed by ingestion of a deadly pseudo-milk, or “black milk.”

7 Bread

Shabbat eve table

Historically, bread has played an intensely critical partial in a story of most of western Eurasia. Bread is also critical in a Jewish tradition, where it is famous as lechem, and was one of a excusable sacrificial offerings in biblical times.

When a Jewish people wandered by a dried in biblical times, they were pronounced to have been postulated by manna, or lechem min hashamayim—bread from heaven. It was pronounced to have depressed from a sky and was means to reconstruct any probable taste, though it could usually be kept for a singular day. This bread was meant to learn a Jewish people how to mature from a competition of slaves to an eccentric people.

Specific rituals involving bread enclosed a challah, in that partial of a mix was taken and burnt to commemorate a apportionment indifferent for a priest, as good as tashlich, a tradition of transferring sins to a fritter of bread that was afterwards expel over a healthy H2O source.

The tradition of transferring sins to bread has an engaging together in British and American traditions. Only instead of sins, these people mostly eliminated diseases. British folk medicine prescribed bread poultices for boils, swelling, sprains, splinters, and bruise eyes. And over in East Anglia, bread baked on Good Friday was kept via a year to heal ailments. This folk medicine was brought to North America, where bread was suspicion to be a heal for whooping cough and smallpox. Similarly, H2O in that burnt bread had been dripping was pronounced to heal diarrhea, and children were given bread that had been nibbled by a rodent to heal toothaches.

6 Tuna


While cans of tuna fish are deliberate common or even uninspiring transport in a industrialized West, for a traditionally naval cultures of a Maldives, a tuna is a fish with lofty origins. Maldivian folklore speaks of a mythological navigator named Bodu Niyami Takurufanu who initial introduced a adored skipjack tuna to a islands.

While on a trade voyage, Bodu Niyami’s organisation held a large, fat fiyala fish. Busy creation astronomical calculations on a mast, Bodu Niyami systematic them to save him a conduct of a fish, though when he descended in hunger, he detected one of his organisation had picked it purify and thrown it into a sea to censor a evidence. Enraged, he systematic a navigator to cruise in a instruction a fish conduct had been thrown.

After sailing for 83 days, they came on a enormous black-coral tree during a finish of a world. Suddenly, they were faced with distracted winds and waves. The charge threatened to toss a boat off a world’s corner until a organisation tied a line to a bend of a good tree. Seeing a apprehension of a crew, Bodu Niyami’s fury started to subside, and he concluded to leave once a winds and tides became favorable.

After spending a night, they awoke to learn a seas were not usually ease though packed with large, different fish. Bodu Niyami traced an picture of a fish on a square of vellum and whispered enchanting difference to constraint a soul, sealing a vellum inside a bamboo tube. As a boat sailed behind home, it was followed by a propagandize of a bizarre fish. The waters around a boat teemed with so many fish that they spasmodic leaped unsought onto a deck.

Problems shortly arose when they sighted dual good rocks rising in a sea in front of them. Bodu Niyami famous them as a pincers of a Queen of a Hermit Crabs, captivated by all a fish. Thinking quickly, he non-stop a bamboo tube, trustworthy a weight to a sketch of a fish, and forsaken it into a ocean. The propagandize of fish and a Queen of a Hermit Crabs followed it to a ocean’s depths, saving a ship. However, on nearing home, he tossed a dull bamboo tube into a ocean, attracting a skipjack tuna that would spin a favorite locate of Maldivian fishermen.

5 Cabbage

Farmer and cabbage

According to a ancient Greeks, a common cabbage has a origins in a fight between male and god. A king of Thrace famous as Lycurgus had angry a God Dionysus by destroying a deity’s dedicated vineyards. As punishment, a king was firm to some vines, and as he wept for his mislaid freedom, a initial cabbages sprang from his tears. This fable led to a renouned exemplary use of eating cabbage to wand off intoxication or hangovers, underneath a faith that a cabbage and a vine were healthy enemies. Other Greeks, such as a Ionians, deliberate a cabbage dedicated and invoked it in their oaths.

Cabbage misconceptions also seemed elsewhere in Europe. Cabbage stalks were pronounced to be used as drifting steeds by fairies and witches, with one Irish fable revelation of a gardener descending underneath angel change and pang from good tired due to being forced to fly about each night on a cabbage stump.

In a German segment of Havel, there is a fable of a inspired male who decides to take some of his neighbor’s cabbages in a center of a night on Christmas Eve. Just as he finishes stuffing his basket, he is held in a act by a Christ child who happens to be roving by on a white horse. For hidden on a holy night, a Christ child sends him into outcast on a moon with his stolen cabbages, and there he presumably stays to this day.

4 Butter


According to a folklore of Wexford County, Ireland, some people can make a understanding with a Devil in sequence to take butter from other people. A plant of a abuse would shake and shake though furnish no butter. Instead, they would infrequently produce a cream with an awful stench. One pointer that a abuse was on a residence was a square of fat or butter left on a doorstep. The heal was to take a coulter from a plow and rose it in a glow in a Devil’s name. This would propel a butter-thief to come to a residence and exhibit himself.

Magical butter burglary was apparently a vital problem in Gothic Ireland as other regions have identical tales. One story tells of a clergyman creation his morning rounds when he upheld an aged lady collecting dew and saying, “Come all to me, come all to me, come all to me.” Without unequivocally realizing it, a clergyman responded with, “And half to me, and half to me, and half to me.”

He didn’t give a matter another suspicion until he got home and was sensitive a morning’s shake had yielded 3 times a common volume of butter. Soon, his neighbors arrived to protest their churns had yielded nothing, and a clergyman unexpected remembered that witches could take butter by collecting dew. Realizing he contingency have inadvertently spin wrapped adult in a witch’s spell, he distributed a butter to his neighbors. Afterward, they went to a residence of a aged woman, where they found that notwithstanding usually owning an aged billy goat, she had 3 tubs of uninformed butter.

3 Peas


The historian Walter Kelly believed that peas were a executive partial of Indo-European mythology, somehow associated to “celestial fire.” One Norse parable says peas were creatively sent to Earth by a God Thor as a punishment. He sent out dragons to infect wells and H2O sources with peas, though some of them landed on a belligerent and sprouted. To equivocate serve antagonizing a deity, a Norse traditionally ate peas on Thursday (Thor’s Day).

In Germanic legends, a competition of dwarves called Zwergs, who’d once fake Thor’s hammer, desired peas so most that they would go out in “caps of darkness” that rendered them invisible while they stole peas from farmers’ fields.

In British folklore, a pod of accurately 9 peas had a extraordinary organisation with romance, heading to a tradition called peasecod wooing. In Suffolk, a kitchen lassie who found a pod with 9 peas would lay it on a lintel, that meant a subsequent immature bachelor to enter would spin her father or sweetheart. Meanwhile in Cumbria, if a immature lady detected her lover was dishonest or if a immature male mislaid his adore seductiveness to a rival, internal youths of a conflicting sex would console them by rubbing them with “peas-straw.”

2 Radish


Believe it or not, a radish was venerable by a ancient Greeks. According to a Roman author Pliny, when a Greeks done offerings to a God Apollo during Delphi, they modeled a radish in gold, a beetroot in silver, and a turnip in lead. The radish was also critical to a Hindu God Ganesha, who is mostly decorated as holding a unfeeling in one of his left hands. He’s also pronounced to caution his supporters to grow copiousness of them so they can use them frequently in offerings.

Every year in Japan, a vast radish with dual sections and a split base is offering to a God Daikoku-sama. According to legend, Daikoku-sama had eaten too many rice cakes and was told by his mom to eat a radish to equivocate death. He found a menial lady soaking radishes and asked for one, usually to be refused as a girl’s master had already counted them. Luckily, she had a two-section radish that she could mangle in half, thereby saving a deity’s life.

One extraordinary square of Russian folklore facilities a radish used to condemnation a excesses of Ivan a Terrible. In a story, a city of Novgorod offering a tsar a radish. Much to Ivan’s surprise, a radish magically seemed as a horse’s head, that was banned for Christians to eat. After Ivan refused a gift, a adults of Novgorod retorted, “So it’s a impiety to eat a horse’s head, though destroying people is a holy deed.” They afterwards sanctified a radish, permitting it to lapse to a loyal form.

1 Cucumber


The cucumber has shown adult a startling series of times in universe folklore, and it’s mostly deliberate a pitch of fertility. An early Buddhist fable tells of King Sagara, whose wife, Sumati, gimlet 60,000 children. Oddly enough, a initial of her children was a cucumber named Ikshvaku. Somehow, Ikshvaku eventually had a son who climbed to sky on his possess vine.

In ancient Rome, women wore cucumbers around their waists to inspire pregnancy. Strangely, a plants were disliked by herbalists in a British Isles. They deliberate them too cold for tellurian stomachs, so naturally they were a means of illness and death. In 1766, English author Landon Carter wrote critically of his daughter, “She does bear ungovernable a whole summer through, eating generously and late during night of cucumbers and all sorts of bilious trash.”

The British perspective was rare, as cucumbers were some-more mostly associated with sexuality. The Pennsylvania Germans believed that cucumbers were best sown in illumination by a exposed male in a primary of his life. They also suspicion a “visible concentration of a sower” would establish a cucumber’s length. The cucumber’s darker associations with sexuality can be seen in their tie to a Japanese kappa demon, a being that raped women and was usually full by tellurian blood or cucumbers.

One ancient Javanese fable tells of a integrate who prayed daily for a child. They were overheard by an immorality hulk named Buto Ijo, and he gave a integrate a enchanting cucumber seed that would produce a baby girl. But there was a catch. Buto Ijo would usually give them a seed if he could eat a lady when she incited 17. The integrate agreed, and a seed yielded a golden cucumber that constructed a lady named Timun Mas.

When she fundamentally incited 17, a inspired hulk showed up. But her relatives went behind on their deal. They gave Timun Mas a special bag and told her to run for it. As she fled, she took salt out of a bag and threw it behind her. The salt became a sea that a hulk was forced to cross. She afterwards threw chili powder, and it became a spiky bush, entangling Buto Ijo. Next, she tossed cucumber seeds that immediately sprouted, call a inspired hulk to postponement for a snack. When he was finished, he continued posterior a girl, so she finally threw a handful of shrimp paste. It became swamp and swallowed a giant, and Timun Mas inexplicably returned home to her parents.

David Tormsen believes that present ramen cures hangovers and wards off banshees. Email him during tormentedsentences@oath.com.


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