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Hoppin' John

Posted by Woodchuck on December 27, 2002

In Reply to: Black-eyed peas for luck posted by ESC on December 27, 2002

: features/food/iso/fe20021227iso.html

: ".Southerners look forward to annual dishes of black-eyed peas at New Year's. The peas portend good luck because they represent coins. Cooked greens are good luck, too, because they represent folding money. If you eat both on New Year's Day, you might, or might not, get rich during the coming year.

: Nutritionists think black-eyed peas and greens are good luck for your health. Both foods are dependable sources of nutrients and antioxidants that protect your heart and maybe prevent cancer. Both are great sources of folic acid, which is linked to lower risk of almost everything bad -- heart disease; colon, lung, prostate and cervical cancer; depression; dementia; and neural-tube birth defects in newborns.
: People in search of good food will no doubt think they've had good luck if they eat the blackeyed peas and greens at Cafe Kilimanjaro (in downtown Louisville, Ky.).

: The African cafe (which features food from the West African diaspora, including the Caribbean and South America) has served both dishes since it opened 10 years ago."

A dish of "Hoppin' John" (black-eyed peas and rice) is the traditional New Year's Day dish.

The link before provides the history of the dish and provides several folk etymologies. The most sensible theory, however, is a corruption of "pois à pigeon" (pwaah-peejon) in reference to the pigeon peas originally used.

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