If you’re a Southerner by birth, you may already be familiar with the tradition of eating Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Year’s Day. It’s been the food d’choice of Southerners since the Civil War days.
According to folklore, when Union soldiers plundered Confederate food supplies, they left them peas and pork, believing it was food for animals. The grateful soldiers relied on the supplies to get them through the remainder of the war days, and to commemorate the event, continued to eat it on New Year’s Day.
But the tradition spans back even further, to at least 1,500 years ago, when it is mentioned in the Talmud as a customary menu item to ring in the Jewish New Year. Greens joined the fray because they share the same color as money, thus symbolizing luck.
Whatever its origins, it’s a healthy, hearty, and satisfying dish. Enjoy it with golden cornbread.