For as long as I remember, my grandmother and mother had a new years rule that black eye peas would be eaten on the first day of the new year. They were both born and raised in South Carolina. Here I am 3 generations later passing on the Southern folklore that says black eye peas should be the first food to be eaten on New Year's Day for luck and prosperity throughout the year ahead.
"The practice of eating black-eyed peas for luck is generally believed to date back to the Civil War. At first planted as food for livestock, and later 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, thereby giving the humble, but nourishing, black-eyed pea an important role as a major food source for surviving Confederates. Today, the tradition of eating black-eyed peas for the New Year has evolved into a number of variations and embellishments of the luck and prosperity theme including serving them with greens (especially collards)." SOURCE: http://gosoutheast.about.com/od/restaurantslocalcuisine/a/blackeyedpeas.htm
The peas =
The greens = paper money
Cornbread = Gold
Best of all, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says black-eyed peas are low in fat, contain no cholesterol, are low in sodium, high in potassium, iron, and fiber and a one-half cup serving of cooked black-eyed peas counts as one ounce of lean meat.
Yours in health,
2012 - The year of FIRE - Igniting healthy behaviors!