OK, Hispanophiles – ready your grapes!
The first time I ever participated in the mysterious Spanish grape ritual was years ago with a group of people –whose names I have long forgot, since I had only met them a few hours earlier on the train – in the Puerta del Sol on what had to be the hottest New Year’s Eve on record. Still, it was fun trying to cram our mouths with grapes or time their chewing appropriately. Some people had brought peeled grapes, which I would say is the way to go if you really want efficiency.
This Spanish custom, which is now spreading throughout the Spanish speaking and even Anglo world – I’m sure I’ll see some folks here in St Augustine tonight chomping down on their grapes – actually originated in 1909 as a commercial promotion after a bumper grape harvest in Northern Spain. It was obviously a “custom” waiting for its moment!
But whatever and wherever, ¡ Buen Año Nuevo! Happy 2011!