Friday, December 31, 2010

☞ EAT: Hoppin' John for New Years

Hoppin' John is a dish served up in the South for New Years that is traditionally said to bring good luck to those who eat it.  The stew of black eyed peas accented with smoked pork or bacon is usually served over rice or mixed together for a southern take on rice and beans.  Purist only use onions and garlic sauteed in the pork fat as the main seasoning (before adding the peas and light stock) but others argue the recipe should have chopped bell peppers or celery to the vegetable mix.  A little brown sugar also adds a nice depth to the dish for those who want to mix it up a little further. Recipe variations aside, some accounts say that the good luck part of the New Years tradition goes back to the Civil War when the northern troops raided all the southern farms and the locals would have starved if not for the field peas left behind (the dry goods were thought to be only animal feed).  Since southern cooking was brought to the North during the Great Migration in the early 20th century, many traditional eateries uptown serve up this recipe as a side dish on a day-to-day basis.


  1. My late GREAT Auntie Gussie would call us all and remind us to have our black eyed peas for good luck !! Hard to find here in Paris...But I will have mine soon !! I'll have some soon ! and have to have alittle brown sugar in it !

  2. That's a mouth-watering photo there, Ulysses. I'll be making my own hoppin' john in an hour or so, but only with ham, not smoked pork or bacon. Next year, I'll have to do better!

  3. Ms. Ciara its too bad that Chez Haynes isn't still open. You could have had your Hoppin' John and more yesterday.