From which European country does the New Year's Day cake Vasilopita originate?
Vasilopita is a New Year's Day cake that originated in Greece. It usually contains a coin, which gives good luck to the person who finds it in their slice. It tends to have a doughy texture, making it a cross between bread and a cake.
Vasilopita translates as 'Basil pie', which references St Basil's Day that is celebrated on 1st January. On the day, families cut the cake to bless their house and bring good luck for the year ahead.
St. Basil was a bishop who wanted to distribute money to the poor. He commissioned women to bake sweetened bread, in which he placed gold coins before distributing them to poor families. This is how the tradition of making Vasilopita began.