Hoppin' John was originally a Lowcountry dish before spreading throughout the South. We’ve chosen this simple, yet rich dish to celebrate our ancestors who created something from close to nothing. Rarely given much to eat in the way of animal protein, slaves resorted to utilizing the discarded meat cuts their captors deemed unworthy. Cuts we find so frequently in modern African-American cuisine, as a way to add much-needed nutrition to their meager diets: ham hocks, fatback, pigs' feet, pig intestines, tails, and snouts. Yet from these cast-offs, magic was made and truly American cuisine was born.
Most commonly served on New Year’s Day, the black-eyed peas symbolize a coming year filled with luck, fortune, and romance. During these difficult times, we could use more of all three, don’t you think? Read more about the history of Juneteenth.