Food ways: Ozoni
Matthew: On New Years my family eats this soup called Ozoni. Each vegetable in the soup is supposed to bring you some type of good luck.
Me: Do you know the ingredients in the soup?
Matthew: Mochi, Carrots, Daikon (pickled Japanese radish), Shitake Mushrooms, Karbu (seaweed), and Watercress
Me: Do you know what each vegetable symbolizes?
Matthew: No, Im not sure. I believe they symbolize different fields of luck like making money, long life, but Im not sure what each vegetable symbolizes.
Ozoni can also be found in Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional. (See Annotation).
I do agree with Matthews interpretation of this Japanese recipe. It was interesting to hear Matthew say that this dish was only eaten on New Years day. I would imagine that the purpose of this limited time frame for consumption would be for the purpose of celebrating new beginnings in ones life. To me, this soup is a symbolization of an optimistic outlook for your future, which should be eaten on a holiday that celebrates novelty, luck, and hope.
Schinner, Miyoko Nishimoto. Japanese Cooking: Contemporary and Traditional. Summertown, TN: Book Publishing Co., 1999. pp. 68-71.