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Lucky foods

Posted by Word Wizard on December 28, 2002

In Reply to: Lucky foods posted by Bob 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.

: New Year's is a gastronomic conundrum, since the first food you eat in the new year brings you luck. Depending on the culture, though, it's black-eyed peas, sauerkraut, or herring. Definitely *not* foods you'd want to combine....

It seems now that almost all the foods my great great grandparents ate are the health foods of today: organic vegetables, low fat meats like deer, rabbit, fish and the like and load of exercise - they walked most everywhere and worked the farm. They didn't smoke tobacco and, being of as religious turn of mind, prayed a lot, avoided alcohol, and were not given to riotous living, so why is it that they were both crippled with arthritis and died in their early 60s? Perhaps of such exceptions are rules proven but I put it down to the avoidance of alcohol.

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