There Are A Surprising Number Of Superstitions About Tortillas

Every culture has its own set of food-related superstitions, beliefs, and traditions. In the South, people often eat black-eyed peas, also called Hoppin' John, or a dish made with the peas, on New Year's Day to bring good luck. On the other hand, some say eating chicken on New Year's Day is rumored to bring bad fortunes and should be avoided at all costs.

One country, in particular, seems to have several superstitions about tortillas. Tortillas are a staple of traditional Mexican cuisine and are used to hold toppings on tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tostadas, and quesadillas. They are sometimes even used for dipping in sauces, soups, and stews. Many of us experience the delicious taste of tortillas in chips.

But woe to the person who drops one of those tortillas on the floor, which, according to Mexican lore, can lead to serious consequences. The most potentially fearful of those repercussions probably depends on one's relationship with their spouse's parents. One superstition in Mexico holds that dropping a tortilla will result in an unexpected and unpleasant visit from the in-laws (via Food 52). According to Business Insider, other variations don't limit it to in-laws and expand it to include any uninvited or unwelcome company that might ruffle your feathers or put a damper on your day.

Tortilla: fortune teller or 'corny' superstition?

Another tortilla superstition from Mexico revolves around the cooking process of the flatbread. If a tortilla puffs up, it indicates that you are ready to get married. However, if it doesn't rise, it signifies a failure to launch and means you are destined to live with your parents in perpetuity, according to Food 52.

Marriage and marital themes are common motifs in Mexican food superstitions involving tortillas. Perhaps these superstitions arose because of the tortilla's central importance in the Mexican diet (via Inside Mexico). Or maybe it's because of its rich cultural and historical significance (via What's Cooking America). Sullying a tortilla by dropping it on the ground, whether accidental or not, would be perceived as a waste of a valuable and versatile food source.

Of course, a surprise visit from the in-laws or residing with your parents isn't the worst thing that could happen. According to Society 19, another superstition includes vampiric chupacabras lurking in the night, ready to ambush your livestock.