Friday 17: lucky foods – Italian Cuisine

How to avoid the fear of Friday 17? In the kitchen it can be made with chilli, garlic, salt, pomegranate and lentils. Here's why and how to cook them in many dishes

Friday 17, for some there can be no worse combination. Let's find out the whys and (above all) the remedies in the kitchen so as to turn this "unfortunate" day into an excellent excuse to learn how to cook new dishes!

Because Friday and 17th bring bad luck

On Friday 17th match two elements considered negative (only in Italy and in other countries of Greek-Latin origin). This day of the week, Friday, is associated in the Christian religion with the death of Jesus; while the number 17 is considered a bearer of misfortune for various reasons: in the Old Testament it is the day of the month in which the universal flood occurs ("… in the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth of the month, on that very same day, all the springs of the great abyss erupted and the windows of heaven were opened", Genesis 7:11); for the Ancient Greeks it was the number between 16 and 18 considered perfect; in Ancient Rome the anagram of the word VIXI (which was used to engrave on the tombs), is XVII, or 17.

Foods (and recipes) to ward off fear

If you suffer from heptacaidecaphobia, or the fear of the number 17, and you are superstitious even towards Friday, i remedies for this disastrous day they can be different. We offer you one related to cooking (obviously) or bring all those to the table foods considered to bring good luck. Here's what they are.


Its shape and color are associated with the Neapolitan horn, considered an auspicious and prosperous object (as long as it is red and handmade). Hang a bunch of chilli peppers on doors and balconies to ward off gossips and troubles or use it to make one of these recipes, from spaghetti with garlic and oil to a chocolate cake up to amatriciana. Chilli is also very rich in health properties.

Triple garlic, oil and chilli spaghetti
Triple garlic, oil and chilli spaghetti.


Hanging on doors it is said to keep vampires away because it purifies the blood and makes it less tasty for them. In Naples it is used to ward off the evil eye: "Sciò sciò ciucciuvè, uocchio, maluocchio … funecelle all'uocchio … garlic, fravaglio, invoice ca nun quail, horns and bicornuate, head of alice and head of garlic … diavulillo diavulillo, jesce a dint'o pertusillo … shoo shoo ciucciuvè … jatevenne, shoo shoo … ". Garlic is also the protagonist in these recipes (from soup to sauces to accompany many dishes) and has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.


Giving it away is considered a symbol of friendship and a wish for luck, health and prosperity. On the contrary, it is said that spilling the salt brings bad luck (but in this case you can fix it by taking a pinch and throwing it behind you). How about preparing a sea bass in salt for today?


Fruits considered to bring good luck but also symbols of abundance. Not to mention that it is very good and that it is also an elixir of youth. Here are many ideas for using it in dishes and salads.

Shortcrust pastry, pomegranate jelly and burnt meringue
Shortcrust pastry, pomegranate jelly and burnt meringue.


Eating them is said to bring money, especially if it is done on New Year's Eve. When in doubt let's eat them, and not just on New Year's Eve, cook like this! The belief derives from the ancient Roman tradition of giving a "scarsella", a small leather bag to store money, containing lentils, with the hope that the small legumes could turn into coins. Lentils certainly bring health because they are rich in vegetable proteins, fibers, vitamins and minerals.

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