New Year's Day in the South
My wife and I will be at at my mother's tomorrow chowing down on pork, cabbage, black-eyed peas, and home-made cornbread. My mom and millions of other ladies of the South have always served that on New Year's Day, and here's why, from SouthernPlate.com:
Back in the days of Civil War, Union troops swept through the South, confiscating crops and livestock to use as provisions for their troops. Southerners who weren’t off fighting were left with precious little, save for peas and greens. You see, Union soldiers considered “field peas” and greens to be fit only for animal fodder. These dishes became cherished and appreciated as what saved many a family from starvation during those times and the tradition of celebrating these dishes on the new year was born.
There are three things every Southerner must eat on New Years day, Black eyed peas, greens, and hog jowl or fatback.