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Pork and New Year's Food Traditions

Pork and New Year's Food Traditions

Hog killing on Milton Puryeur place, 1939, Courtesy of Library of Congress

Hog killing on Milton Puryeur place, 1939, Courtesy of Library of Congress

North Carolinian Reginald Ward said, “I don’t care where you are, in New York” black folk on New Year’s Day are going to eat “strictly pork.” Tradition calls for cooking “black-eyed peas, hog head, a whole hog head now, pig tails, pigs feet.” He goes on to say, “You can go just about anywhere, and people who were born in the South, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee,” cook pork on New Year’s Day. Having lived in California in the 1960s, Ward noticed that, “everybody born in the South was looking for pork” on New Year’s. As a result, the price of smoked and pickled pork parts like pigs’ feet and hog maws in California supermarkets became expensive around New Year’s. 

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Hog and Hominy: Soul Food from Africa to America

Fred Opie Show Podcast

Food and New Year’s Resolutions Part 1

Food and New Year’s Resolutions Part 1

Winter Holiday Traditions Part 4

Winter Holiday Traditions Part 4