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What To Serve Up For A Traditional Southern New Year’s Feast

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
What To Serve Up For A Traditional Southern New Year’s Feast

Black-eyed peas, turnip greens, the traditional southern start to a New Year.

Newt’s BBQ in Rock Island will be serving up a traditional menu for New Year’s Day including cornbread, cabbage and BBQ pork. Newt Rowland said every dish has a story behind it.

“In the Civil War, when Sherman came to the south he destroyed everything, and left fields of black-eyed peas, because he thought they were only for animals,” Rowland said. “So, that became a luxury item, because that was all they had to eat.”

Rowland said black-eyed peas also represent good luck and prosperity for the new year. He said every traditional New Year’s food has a symbolic meaning.

“And don’t forget turnip greens,” Rowland said. “You got to have some turnip greens for money, green money. It represents the money. Cornbread you have to have because it represents gold. It represents money too.”

Rowland said there is even traditions on what not to eat, and people need to put down the cocktail shrimp.

“One thing they say you’re not suppose to do on January 1 is seafood, because they say that the seafood like a shrimp or a lobster swim backwards,” Rowland said. “That means you’ll be going backwards at the first of the year and you won’t be going forwards.”

Rowland takes a full day to prepare his black-eyed peas. He also slow cooks his cabbage and turnip greens. All dishes have a healthy mixture of seasonings and pig jowl to help bring out more flavor. Rowland said he also prepares BBQ pork, because pork is traditionally considered good luck. Rowland is not too superstitious, as he also still serves seafood gumbo on January 1.

Rowland also offers a slow cooked country ham on New Year’s Day, because that was traditionally served by his family on January 1.

“That’s what the fun is about,” Rowland said. “It’s a southern tradition. We sit around and tell stories about why we are eating all this and then we eat it.”

Rowland said he also uses the traditional pig’s jowl in his famous hog jowl sandwich.


The post What To Serve Up For A Traditional Southern New Year’s Feast appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.