Here in the South, New Year's Day brings a whole new mess of meaning to the table, from good fortune to a long life. While Southern New Year's food traditions are enjoyed year-round, failure to incorporate the most symbolic foods on New Year's Day is very bad luck. Cook up some good luck foods like collard greens and black-eyed peas, and you'll be livin' in high cotton in the year to come.
For extra luck, cook everything with pork on New Year's Eve. The more pig involved in the New Year's Day meal, the more luck it brings. The pig is a symbol of forward moving, so the more you eat for the New Year the more prosperous you will be in the coming year.
If you're fixin' to make the proper New Year's supper, then y'all best be fixin' these Southern New Year's food traditions from the United States.
Nothing soaks up fatback or pork tenderloin like a chunk of cornbread. A staple for any Southerner's meal, cornbread is especially important as a traditional Southern New Year's Day. food The color is considered to represent gold, and eating it is thought to bring you spending money in the prosperous new year.
For deeper pockets, toss in some corn kernels. Representing nuggets of gold, the kernels will make you that much richer in the eyes of Southern tradition. Get the Southern Skillet Cornbread recipe here.
2. Collard Greens
Now, leafy greens don't mean just any old collards. In the South, there is a proper way to slow-cook collards and it involves pork. You simply can't prepare Southern greens without rendering it in fat, so pair it with pork chops.
Green like the color of money, this is one Southern staple you don't want to miss. Eat a whole mess of these lucky foods on New Year's Day, otherwise, your luck may run out. Make the best dern tootin' collards with this recipe.
3. Black-Eyed Peas
One of the most popular Southern New Year's food traditions is a mess of black-eyed peas - 365 of them to be exact. Some choose to eat one pea per day in a year. However, the more you eat, the more luck you will have. The reason is black-eyed peas are said to represent pennies in the American South. Over time, they add up to more wealth. They also swell as you cook, getting more out of each pea.
For extra luck, throw a silver coin in the pot. Whoever gets the coin will have the most prosperous year. Or, to bring some luck to everyone on the table, place a penny under each bowl. After all, it couldn't hurt.
Get the recipe for Crockpot Black-Eyed Peas here.
4. Hoppin' John
Hoppin' John is a low country dish consisting of spicy black-eyed peas, rice, and fatback or ham hock. Consisting of all that is good on New Year's day, it's like one big pot of money.
So how did this Southern New Year's food tradition get its name? Well, that's up for debate. One version of the story involves a man named Hoppin' John selling the dish on the streets of Charleston, South Carolina, and the other involves children hopping around before eating their meal. Either way, it certainly couldn't hurt your luck.
5. Hog Jowl
If you aren't familiar with this portion of the pig, hog jowl is the cheek. It is typically added to season or enhances the flavor of a dish. Toss it in the pot with the black-eyed peas and let them soak up all that rich, fatty goodness.
While hog jowl does represent wealth, it also ensures good health. I mean, if you don't got your health, then what are you going to do with all that money?
Learn how to make your own hog jowl with this recipe.
6. Pork Roast
Since pork is a Southern New Year's food tradition, for a truly happy new year start things off right with an easy pork roast as a main dish to serve along with your black eyed peas. This mouthwatering recipe will have your whole house smelling amazing, which is another good way to start off the new year!
Get the recipe here.
7. Southern Caviar
If you need an appetizer for your New Year's Day menu, try this black eyed pea salsa, affectionately known as Southern Caviar. Every Southerner has their own way of putting together this tasty snack; we like this recipe because it's fast and easy and just plain good. Serve with crispy golden corn chips for extra luck!
Get the recipe here.
This article was originally published on December 17, 2018.