No food has more colorful names than field peas of the South. Here you find zipper peas, blackeyed peas, pinkeyed peas, purple hull peas, cow peas, crowder peas, polecats, whippoorwills, big red rippers, and Mississippi silvers. Some of these are regional names for the exact same thing, but even the differences among them, when they’re cooked, are slight. As a rule, peas are a secondary side dish, but they do take center stage on New Years Day, when eating them, along with collard greens and pork, is said to bring good luck. In this scheme, the greens symbolize money and the peas are supposed to be cooked with a penny in the pot. Whoever gets the penny will be lucky and rich. The Lowcountry version of this tradition is called Hoppin’ John, and includes rice. Green garden peas are the basis of a dish called mushy peas, which are a common companion for fish and chips or meat pies in England and on English-themed menus in the U.S.

Restaurants With This Dish

Mary Stewart’s Southern Soul Food


Wade’s Restaurant


Bryce’s Cafeteria


Croaker’s Spot


Catfish fillets with greens, dressing, and mac & cheese on a square plate ... Detroit soul
Detroit Soul


Two Ladies Kitchen



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