A Little Southern Luck for the New Year

By Chef Heather Hunsacker, of foodonthetable.com

For many the New Year means a clean fresh start and new beginning. And while we all have good intentions to stick to the goals or resolutions the New Year brings, why not increase your odds with a little old fashioned luck!

Many countries and cultures throughout the world celebrate the New Year with time-honored traditions. For me, growing up in the south meant my family celebrated the New Year with a big ole pot of black-eyed pea soup and homemade cornbread.

Legend has it that back during the Civil War, many of the South’s crops and livestock were destroyed during battle. The surviving southerners discovered black-eyed peas, providing them with food and nourishment. Thus, this humble legume has become a symbol of luck and prosperity.

Some Fun Facts:

  • The black-eyed pea is an excellent source of Calcium, Folate, and Vitamin A.
  • Cornbread is often served with black-eyed peas to represent gold and wealth.
  • Many believe that for the best chance of luck and fortune every day in the year ahead, one must eat at least 365 black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day.
  • For many countries legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are all symbolic of money. Their small, round appearance resembles coins. When cooked the legume swells in size, so many believe if consumed on New Year’s Day, financial rewards will follow in the New Year!

About the Author

Chef Heather attended and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, but has been developing family friendly meals since she was nine years old in her mother’s kitchen. She is an avid “crockpotter” and knows how to get food on the table in a pinch. She currently serves as a writer and recipe developer for meal planning site foodonthetable.com .

2 replies
  1. Carrie O'Neill
    Carrie O'Neill says:

    Love this!! Great fun facts that I have never known – my whole life!! (and I am in my 40’s!) Defiantly going to be making this for New Years Day!!

  2. R Hicks
    R Hicks says:

    We always have the black eyed peas, and of course collards for lots of money in the new year. LOL!

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