What are your hopes for the New Year? If prosperity is on your wish list, you’ll have to dish up some black-eyed peas. All across the southeastern United States, January 1 is Black-Eyed Pea Day.
The notion of these lucky legumes originated during the Civil War when black-eyed peas were the only crops left after the ravages of battle. Since then, Southern families have served up the humble pea on New Year’s Day to ensure good luck throughout the year.
Hoppin’ John, which consists of black-eyed peas, rice, pork, onions, peppers and seasonings, is an especially popular dish. Variations include the addition of collard greens. The greens represent currency and the peas represent coins. If you really want to bolster your wealth, serve with corn bread, a southern delight that represents gold.
While it remains unclear as to whether or not black-eyed peas bestow ample bank accounts, one thing is very clear, they’re packed with protein, fiber, iron and potassium, ensuring good nutrition for better health.
If you want this good-luck treatment to work, you must devour exactly 365 peas on Black-Eyed Pea Day. Call on the ‘Count’ from Sesame Street to help, since you’re most likely to be in the throes of a New Year’s Day hangover.