I have never been one to make New Years resolutions. But I am a person who is bound by tradition. According to southern folklore, the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity for the year ahead are black-eyed peas. From grand gourmet dinners to small casual gatherings with friends and family, these legumes are traditionally offered.
The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is believed to date back to the Civil War. They were first planted as food for livestock, and later as a food staple for slaves in the South. The fields of black-eyed peas were ignored as Sherman's troops destroyed or stole other crops, giving the humble, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates.
However it got started, traditions change and morph over the years. But there is no doubt that eating black-eyed peas is a truth held sacred by many southerners who may never touch a black-eyed pea at any other time of the year. But a little luck never hurt anyone, right? So here’s to 2011!! (And it’s still not too late to go get your black-eyed peas!)