Black-eyed peas in the South
Though its roots do not stem from the South, eating black-eyed peas in particular dishes has become a Southern tradition, Pelaccio said. Black-eyed peas are served with rice in the traditional Southern U.S. dish called “Hoppin’ John” for New Year’s Eve. Or, the peas can be part of a soup. In Italy, lentils mix with pork for a lucky dish. That tradition of eating the peas with rice is of African origin, and it became popular in the South later, especially in the Carolinas.
Other black-eyed peas combos
Black-eyed peas with corn bread represents gold, according to Southern Living. Stew your black-eyed peas with tomatoes and they become a symbol of wealth and health.
One unusual but common New Year’s Day black-eyed peas tradition involves putting actual money in the dish. Some add to their “luck” by cooking their pot of peas with a penny or dime inside. Whoever gets the bowl with the coin in it, according to legend, has the best luck for the new year.
Here’s a bit more on New Year’s Day recipes and dishes: