I Ate my 12 Grapes. Did you?

I Ate my 12 Grapes.  Did you?

So, Happy New Year and welcome to 2009 in Hudin Land. It happens that Hudin Land has been temporarily moved outside the US for the holiday duration. This being the case, all of Hudinia celebrated New Year’s in Spain, which meant having to painfully adapt to the rigorous Spanish customs. So, in addition to drinking, having dinner and staying up until midnight (very, very tough in Spain) all of Hudin had to eat 12 grapes at each of the 12 strokes of midnight on the clock in Puerta del Sol.

Next year, the custom of the 12 Grapes will be 100 years old and I was surprised to find that apparently they do it in Mexico and some places in the US with a strong Latino community as well. Also, unlike the caganer, this is a tradition celebrated across all of Spain. Everywhere, just before New Year’s, you see all these little plastic cups or bags for sale with 12 grapes in them. I illustrate below with photo as I am wont to do at times.

For those thinking that this isn’t a big deal, try eating one full grape with seeds every second. It ain’t easy. If you don’t eat the seeds, then there is no way you’re going to keep up with the clock strokes. And no matter which way you go with it (seeds or not), grapes get really, really tannic in the mouth when you pack them in (part of the reason why wine is a craft). I managed to pull it off, but it was my first time and I had a real feeling of obligation to get it right despite the fact that after eating the New Year’s dinner and drinking most of a bottle of wine, I was having a hard time getting all the grapes down. Anyways, full of grapes and grape seeds, I head forth in to 2009.