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According to tradition, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day will bring one wealth and prosperity throughout the year.

Many people in the American South take that belief to heart. The saying “peas for pennies, greens for dollars, and cornbread for gold” plays a huge influence on the region’s new year’s cuisine.

While we don’t have any proof that eating black-eyed peas, collared greens, and cornbread will make you rich, it certainly can’t hurt to try it, right?

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Here’s a tasty Southern-style black-eyed peas recipe from Deep South Dish. If you don’t really care for the taste of the peas, rest assured that it’s suitably disguised by the flavors of ham, jalapeño, and our all-time favorite ingredient — bacon!

You will need:

  • ¼ pound bacon, chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • ½ medium green pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup ham, diced (optional)
  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or chicken broth/stock (or a combination of the two, if you’d like), room temperature
  • 2 pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2 jalapeños, ribs and seeds removed, chopped (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves

Get the full recipe at Deep South Dish.

Beth Sawicki About the author:
Beth Sawicki is a content editor at Rare. Email her at
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