In many cultures, the New Year is a time to wish for good fortune and prosperity. In the American South, this wish is embodied in a symbolic dish, Hoppin’ John, with a history that goes back to roots in Africa.
Hoppin’ John is made in many different ways, but traditionally is centered on black-eyed peas, rice and pork. It originates in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, where African slaves experienced in rice cultivation worked plantations in a region inhospitable to cotton. Hoppin’ John has been linked to similar foods in West Africa, where black-eyed peas originate.
Everything about Hoppin’ John is filled with symbolism about the eater’s fate in the coming year. One tradition is that the number of peas represents the amount of luck you will have in the coming year, while another says you should leave three peas on your plate for luck, fortune and romance. Hoppin’ John is served with collard greens, whose green color symbolizes paper currency, and cornbread, representing gold, while the peas represent coins.
Around the New Year you can find these dishes in our Deli! Or if you would like to prepare them for yourself, see our recipes below!
Date: Wednesday December 21, 2016
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