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From warding off vampires with garlic to throwing salt over our shoulders, food has been central to superstitions worldwide for centuries. Our team at Charles Grech Bistro – popular restaurant in Sliema – shares some interesting eating superstitions that will have you raise your eyebrows or at worst, feel a tinge of paranoia.

Birthday cake

Make a wish and blow out the candles! Something you probably never thought of while doing so, though, is that you were warding off evil spirits. The tradition of placing candles on cakes dates back a long time – to ancient Greece, to be precise. The Greeks baked moon-shaped honey cakes to worship Artemis – the moon goddess, but they believed that all the celebrating attracted evil spirits. Burning candles supposedly chased the bad spirits away.


This is one of the eating superstitions that will probably have you raise an eyebrow.

In most countries, when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, people take that as a cue to kiss your partner. However, the first 12 seconds of the Spaniard’s new year are somewhat quieter and more intense, as everybody focuses on eating 12 grapes – that symbolise the 12 months ahead, one by one, in an attempt to ward off bad luck and have a prosperous new year.
While we are not sure about the luck part, anyone taking part in this activity is most likely to start the year off with hysterical laughter as they try to cram the grapes into their mouths, while downing glasses of bubbly! This tradition and superstition has spread to some parts of central and south America.


Most of us have accidentally spilled salt on a table and thrown a small handful over our shoulders without thinking twice. The reason: spilling salt is just plain bad luck, but you can lift the curse by using your right hand to throw some of it over your left shoulder. Just make it subtle.
Speaking of grapes…


With food being a central part to Italian culture, it should come as no surprise that the majority of Italian superstition occurs at the table. Here, spilling wine is not only a waste of greatness, and bad for your carpets and tablecloths – it also happens to be bad luck. In such cases, the spiller should apparently dab a bit of the spilled wine behind their ears immediately, to create the opposite luck.

Looking for a stylish restaurant in Sliema to enjoy great food and not worry about eating superstitions?

We invite you to come over to Charles Grech Bistro, where our passionate chefs will cook up a storm for you. Take a look at our newly-updated menu here. Savour good food in a warm and pleasant ambiance in our popular restaurant in Sliema, close to the sea.

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