Traditional Food Gifts for Housewarming

Written by timothy lemke
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Traditional Food Gifts for Housewarming
A loaf of bread is one of the most traditional housewarming gifts. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Traditionally, housewarmings celebrated the newly constructed homes of young, recently married couples. Villagers would bring wood for the home's hearth in order to warm the house, and to chase away any evil spirits that may cause harm or bring the residents bad luck. As the tradition evolved, guests began bringing food and useful household items to just-starting-out couples. As of 2011, housewarmings serve as opportunities for friends and family to visit a new home. Many food gifts make perfect choices when attending a housewarming party.

Bread and Salt

While different cultures have different customs, one traditional housewarming gift that seems to transcend cultures is a loaf of bread and salt. In Germany, a housewarming poem starts, "Bread so you'll never go hungry, salt so you'll have good luck." In Italy, a housewarming poem begins with a similar sentiment: "Bread so your larder will always be full. Salt to give it savour." In medieval times, bread was symbolic of the basic staple foods that sustained the peasant population, and a sprinkling of salt at a home's threshold was believed to ward off evil spirits. Guests looking to bring an edible housewarming gift may want to consider this traditional item.


In Asia, rice was traditionally given to young couples as a sign of fertility, and is the origin of rice being thrown at weddings. Rice is a diverse grain that can be used to make a number of delicious recipes. Traditional Zhejiang recipes suggest adding fresh vegetables, mushrooms and bamboo shoots to a rice dish; follow one such recipe for a truly unique housewarming gift for homeowners who enjoy authentic Asian cuisine.


Traditionally, a gift of honey is symbolic of the sweetness of life. Guests looking to bring something unique to the party might consider bringing mead. A wine made from honey, mead can be a complement to food items brought by other guests. While mead can be purchased at most liquor stores, the truly adventurous can attempt to make their own mead at home. Mead is only as good as the honey used to make it, however, so be sure to get high-quality honey if you attempt to make your own mead.


From the French word for saucepan, casseroles are convenient, easily transportable gifts that can take a wide variety of forms. Guests can bring traditional casseroles like tuna or green bean, or try their hand at something more extravagant, such as crab or baked ziti. Casseroles are easy to reheat, in case you have a long distance to drive to reach the housewarming, and casserole dishes make nice presents in addition to the food contained within.

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