Hoppin’ John — A Southern Tradition for a Happy New Year!
Wishing you a happy, healthy 2019!
To start the year off right, this guest post comes to us from Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC, a registered dietitian who works as a health and communications coach. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Sonja loves sharing southern food traditions.
Sonja originally shared this recipe with me several years ago, and it was a popular post. So here it is again — it is a delicious dish and is believed to bring good luck for the New Year.
Cooking for Some Luck in the New Year!
By Sonja Stetzler, MA, RDN, CPC
As food traditions go, my southern family is much like the rest of America. We had corned beef on St. Patrick’s Day, hamburgers and hotdogs on Fourth of July, and turkey on Thanksgiving. However, our New Year’s Day meal would not be complete unless we had Hoppin’ John – a dish containing black-eye peas, chopped onions, rice and bacon.
Eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day is a southern tradition
Eating it on New Year’s Day is thought to bring a year filled with good luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins. Greens such as collards, mustard greens, chard, kale, or cabbage are prepared to go with Hoppin’ John, as the greens represent currency and are supposed to add to one’s wealth. Cornbread is also served as its golden color symbolizes gold.
Over the years, chefs have created many variations of the traditional Hoppin’ John dish. Despite the many variations in preparing this southern tradition, I wouldn’t dream of starting my New Year without black-eyed peas and greens – for fear I would have a little less jingle in my pocket and a little less green in my wallet in the upcoming year.
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