A New Year's tradition of good luck.
Eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity.
The peas, since they swell when cooked, symbolize prosperity; the greens symbolize money; the pork, because pigs root forward when foraging, represents positive motion.
Another suggested origin of the tradition dates back to the Civil War, when Union troops, especially in areas targeted by General William Tecumseh Sherman, typically stripped the countryside of all stored food, crops, and livestock, and destroyed whatever they could not carry away. At that time, Northerners considered "field peas" and field corn suitable only for animal fodder, and did not steal or destroy these humble foods
In the Southern United States the peas are typically cooked with a pork product for flavoring (such as bacon, ham bones, fatback, or hog jowl), diced onion, and served with a hot chili sauce or a pepper-flavored vinegar.
So… like where do you buy hog jowls?? I remember we always ate black eyed peas on New Years Day. Mother made them with salt pork and we used pickled pepper vinegar. They really aren't too bad to eat but not a favorite. Now we buy a can at the grocery store and eat a couple of spoon fulls as a tradition. Maybe we should cook up some this year and eat a bunch as we could use as much prosperity as possible.