For prosperity in the new year, it’s a Southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day—most popularly in the beans-and-rice dish, Hoppin’ John. Other favorites are black-eyed peas and ham, the peas often combined with collards (photo #3).
The custom is actually a lot older than the U.S., and began in the Middle East.
An ancient Sephardic Jewish custom, black-eyed peas are served on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah. This “good luck” tradition is recorded in the Babylonian Talmud, compiled circa 500 C.E., and includes other good luck foods such as beets, dates, leeks and spinach. The custom is still followed by Israeli Jews and Sephardic Jews the world over.
Other good-luck foods eaten at new years around the world include figs, fish, grains, grapes, greens, noodles, pork and pomegranate seeds. Here’s why.
Like hummus? Try this black-eyed pea dip as an alternative.
If you prefer, here’s a recipe for black-eyed pea salsa.
RECIPE: BLACK-EYED PEA DIP & SPREAD
Even if this recipe (photo #1), from Melissa’s, doesn’t give you prosperity, it does provide nutrition.
Beans are a nutritional powerhouse as well as a very economical source of protein. Make a resolution to add beans to your diet at least once a week; the more often, the better.
In addition to dip and sandwich spread, a hot bean side dish and bean soup, try a cold bean salad vinaigrette or mix beans into a green salad or grain bowl.
There are even bean desserts. The you may have encountered chocolate cookies and brownies enriched with black beans, or Japanese red bean ice cream and dessert sauces (they’re azuki beans, sometimes mis-translated as adzuki beans).Take a look at these bean dessert recipes.
1. COMBINE all ingredients, except for the crackers, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
2. SERVE with bread, crackers or crudités. We also use it as a sandwich spread with grilled vegetables and mozzarella.
They’re beas, beige in in color with a black “eye” on one side.
Black-eyed peas are also called black-eyed beans, because they are a subspecies of the cowpea, which is called a pea but botanical a bean, as are chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans.
The are variously spelled black-eyed, black eye or blackeye[d].
Peas and beans are both legumes and seeds, each a separate genus in the Fabaceae botanical family. Some key differences:
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