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New Year's Day Traditions and Food

A sign in some unknown part of the Southern United States, related recipes below

“I don’t care where you are,” writes North Carolinian Reginald Ward, black folk are going to eat “strictly pork” on New Year ’s Day. 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. I interviewed Ward for my book Hog and Hominy. 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. Historically this how southerners ate on New Year’s; and this tradition has caused a lot of serious health problems because folks ate a lot of pork on other days of the year too. Ease up on the pork this New Year’s day and for the coming year.

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