The South is known for many great traditions, but some of the best are those that are associated with the New Year’s Day feast. Go just about anywhere across the South on January 1st and you’re sure to find four things on everyone’s plate: Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Pork, and Cornbread. They might be prepared in different ways, but many Southerners can’t recall a New Year’s day without the aforementioned feast.
But why is it so important to eat all of these foods on the first of the year? According to tradition, each food ensures that a different aspect of life will be improved in the new year. For example, Black-Eyed Peas represent luck. Some say that you need to eat 365 peas, or your luck will run out before the year is over, so pile that plate high! Collard Greens, which resemble paper money, are said to symbolize wealth and prosperity in the new year. Pork represents progress. As the old adage states, “A pig roots forward, a chicken scratches back, and a cow stands still.” Finally, cornbread is said to represent gold. It also is a great vessel for sopping up pot likker or Black-Eyed Pea Soup.
Keep clicking for a list of our favorite new and classic dishes to help you prepare a Southern feast that is sure to bring your family a prosperous new year.