Taking Up a New Food Tradition: “Hoppin John” on New Year’s Day

Looking back through old posts, I found this discovery of a good luck tradition for new year’s day which has now becomes a tradition! Black eyed peas are a favorite in my home and it was great to read some encouraging news about a new variety of cowpea , ready to be introduced in Nigeria. The cultivation of cow peas has been hit by the pod borer and required heavy application of pesticides. The new variety is modified to resist insects and will bring down the use of pesticides. This is better for the environment and brings down costs for the farmer as well. the consumer also benefits as a great source of protein becomes more accessible. From the Cornell Alliance For Science:
https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/2017/11/gmo-cowpea-offers-hope-for-boosting-nutrition-economy-in-nigeria/

Thought + Food

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Though I have lived in the US for  a while now, I just learned about the tradition of eating “Hoppin John” on New Year’s day. The first description I read of it involved black-eyed peas, pork, rice and some greens. The black-eyed peas represent coins and the wish for prosperity, the greens of course represent cash. This immediately reminded me of a favorite recipe from India  and I thought I would use it. And so our first meal of the year was this bowl of golden goodness, glowing with turmeric and a little chilli powder, with a sprinkling of cilantro standing in for the greens. To me, this represents the best of all possible worlds, memories of the infusing the adventure of the present.

Further reading brought interesting facts to light: the original dish used red cow peas not the black-eyed peas used today; the rice used was  Carolina…

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