Looking forward to an even better 2019? With New Year’s resolutions and plenty of superstitions to increase the odds why not choose one that tastes good too. If you are looking for a little extra help in the good luck and financial prosperity department, do what we do here in the South, eat black-eyed peas or purple hulls and collard greens on New Year’s Day, and don’t forget the cornbread!
The traditional meal typically consists of black-eyed peas or purple hulls cooked with some form of pork, collard, turnip, or mustard greens and cornbread. Since the peas swell when they are cooked, they symbolize prosperity; the greens represent money; the pork is used because pigs root forward when foraging which represents positive motion and the cornbread symbolizes gold.
So why do we eat black-eyed peas, ham and collards on New Year’s Day?
Many say it dates back to the Civil War when black-eyed peas or purple hulls were considered not worthy of the Union troops and when they raided the Confederates, the only thing they left were the peas and pork. The Confederates felt lucky to be left with these supplies so they could survive the cold harsh winter. From then on, peas and pork have been symbolic of luck. Another theory is that black-eyed peas were all Southern slaves had on the first day of January 1863 when the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect. After that, peas were eaten on the first day of January every year in celebration. Others think the tradition comes from Europe or just something the South does because it’s been a place for farming and peas hold up well in the winter.
However the tradition came to be, we are glad it did! Stop by our Brown’s Farm Market in Columbus to pick up your peas and greens then try out some of our favorite recipes this New Year’s Day.
About Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
Black-eyed peas are a subspecies of the cowpea and are grown all around the world under many names. Here in the South we have many heirloom varieties that vary in size from small lady peas to very large ones. The most popular variety here at William L Brown Farm Market is the purple hull pea, also known as pink eye, which has a prominent purple or pink spot.
Collard greens, turnip, or mustard greens are all members of the cabbage family but vary in appearance and flavor. They are all green in color however, collard greens have larger leaves and stalks, mustard greens have smaller leaves and are ruffled while turnip greens are slimmer and longer. Turnip greens are the most bitter of the three, mustard greens have a bolder flavor than collards.
Here at William L Brown Farm we harvest our peas and greens during peak season for the fresh taste you know and love. We then blanch and freeze our peas so you can enjoy them all year round! Stop by our Columbus market on Airport Thruway across from Outback 7 days a week. Sunday 1 pm – 6 pm and Monday – Friday 10 am – 6 pm.
From all of us here at William L Brown Farm and Market, we wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous 2019!