Now that the Christmas season has passed, southern cooks are looking ahead to New Year’s Day.
The traditional fare will include ham, black-eyed peas and cabbage. The cabbage carries symbolic weight this time of year, with its green color representing prosperity in the New Year. Ham also has an interesting association with new years celebration. Pigs root forward as they forage, and as the new year begins, we keep looking forward.
But, for many cooks, these are traditions handed down for generations.
Local groceries are stocked full of peas, cabbage and other New Year’s fare.
And history tells us the tradition of cooking special meals for New Year’s in the United States goes back at least to the early 1700’s.
Plus, what you serve also depends on where you live. You’ll see Hoppin’ John a lot in Louisiana, a combination of rice and black-eyed peas, but elsewhere, whatever is in season beckons the home cook.
KLAX ABC 31 News 12/30/13