Field Notes

Onions, cheese, eggs: A look at kitchen divination

Predicting the future isn’t only astrology apps, tarot cards dial-in psychics and crystal balls. Over the years people from various cultures have channelled the food in their larders using kitchen divination practices like tasseography, (reading tea leaves or coffee grounds), cromniomancy, (using onions). tyromancy (studying the characteristics of cheese) and ovomancy (dropping eggs in water). 

Today, a growing appetite for spirituality is bringing back Pagen herbal magic, and some interesting food focused fortune telling—some of which comes from 15th century witchcraft. In her recent article, journalist Suchi Rudra, gives some modern-day examples of resurfacing rituals.

Ovomancy, for instance, is still practiced in the Caribbean and parts of Latin America to predict death, marriage and childbirth. In South Korea, business is booming for shamans, fortune-tellers and rice divinators who dip into, and count, pieces of uncooked golden rice. An even number of grains means “yes” there’s a spirit, while an uneven number points to an absence of spirits. Mexican maize is tossed on an embroidered tortilla napkin to make similar predications by current day practitioners. And, followers of cheesy magic use the patterns of fermentation, number of holes, and the shape of the cheese to give them a glimpse of what’s to come. One Chicago based expert says blue cheese works best, but she’s divined with everything from Colby Jack to a Kraft single and suggests a pairing with wine divination known as oenomancy. 

Source: National Geographic

 

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Field Notes

Onions, cheese, eggs: A look at kitchen divination Predicting the future isn’t only astrology apps, tarot cards dial-in psychics and crystal balls. Over the years people from various cultures have channelled the food in their larders using kitchen divination practices

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