Are you looking to ring in the New Year with a bit of luck? A traditional southern New Year’s Meal is meant to do just that! So start 2022 with some good fortune and a wonderfully prepared meal from a local restaurant!
We’ll explain where good luck comes into play, and honestly, who couldn’t use some of that?
For New Year’s Eve Fun for the Whole family, check out our guide to finishing off 2021 together – New Year’s Eve in Greenville, SC (with kids)
Ringing In The New Year With Luck
As a “Yankee,” the southern tradition of serving pork, black-eyed peas, greens, and cornbread was foreign to me. So, watching these ingredients get ripped from the grocery store’s shelves in record quantities had me wondering what the deal was. My co-workers laughed that I was blissfully unaware of this tried and true tradition in the south. But, I figured, if a meal had even the slightest chance of bringing good fortune, then it was worth a shot!
The meal, broken down by each item, is said to bring you good fortune in different ways:
Is thought to be a sign of prosperity because pigs root forward. That spiral cut honey ham you’ve enjoyed before on New Year’s Day, probably owes its popularity to this belief. Eating poultry is said to bring bad luck, because they dig backwards.
The beans or peas prepared on New Years day symbolize coins. It’s thought that if you eat legumes, the New Year will bring good fourtune to you in the form of money(coins). I’m not sure how many you’re supposed to eat, but I don’t think I’ve been eating enough.
If beans bring you wealth, greens bring you the big money kind of wealth. The greens consumed on New Years symbolize the GREEN you want to see in your bank account. Cold hard cash. Again, I’m not sure how much is the right amount – but I need to eat more.
OK. forget the beans and greens. You know how everyone goes on a diet in January? I’m going on a cornbread diet. The cornbread in your holiday meal symbolizes gold. Need I say more? Why mess with the other stuff, I’m just skipping straight to the gold.
Pork, Black Eyed Peas, Greens & Cornbread – Oh My!
As I’m sure most of you can imagine (after seeing the word “Yankee”), I failed in a grand fashion the first time I tried making this meal on New Year’s Day. My job was to teach people how to cook, so this was a humbling experience. However, my best friend took pity on me and brought me a plate of leftovers from her grandmother’s kitchen. This is how someone’s granny should prepare a traditional southern New Year’s meal. I stand by this statement, and you won’t change my mind. Wisdom adds flavor to the food that can’t be store-bought, and a granny’s New Year’s meal will always be superior.
However, there is still hope in the absence of a proper southern granny. You can enjoy a Lucky New Year’s Meal with a bit of help!
Find A Traditional New Year’s Meal in Spartanburg and Greenville, SC
Restaurants Offering a Complete New Years Day Meal
Dine-in or carry out a traditional southern New Years Day meal at these restaurants.
726 South Howard Ave, Landrum SC | 864.457.4581
Enjoy a complete meal including two smoked pork chops, collard greens, black eyed-peas, chow-chow, and cornbread. Available New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, call for reservations or order.
Celebrate the arrival of 2022 with Home Team Catering and order some Collards & Hoppin’ John with the pork and other delicious items you love from Home Team BBQ.
Putting Together A New Years Day Meal At Home With Help
Pulling together a traditional New Years’ meal at home without cooking it yourself is possible! These Upstate restaurants and markets can supply you with the things you need.
Prepared Pork Entrees
- Bobby’s BBQ pulled pork | $16 lb
- Smoky Dreams BBQ pulled pork | $12.99 lb
- Swamp Rabbit Cafe Holiday Ham | $20 deposit w/ remaining due at pickup, based on weight of ham.
- Reid’s Spiral Cut Ham | $75
- Blue Moon Specialty Foods Mojo Pulled Pork | $14.99 lb
- Henry’s Smokehouse Smoked Spiral Cut Ham | call for price
- Green Tomato Buffet Catering Grilled Pork Chops | $1.85 per serving
- Wades Restaurant Baked Ham (check for availablity)
Prepared Black-Eyed Peas
- We haven’t found a spot selling Hoppin’ John prepared in Greenville yet, but while we look – here’s a recipe from Charleston Chef BJ Dennis for preparing the black-eyed dish from scratch.
- Wades Restaurant Black Eyed Peas (check for availablity)
- Fork and Plough Collard Greens | $5(pint) $8 (quart)
- Blue Moon Specialty Foods Southern Style Collard Greens | $12.99 (2lbs)
- Green Tomato Buffet Catering Collard Greens | $25 (half pan)
- Farm Fresh Fast Collard Greens
- Blue Moon Specialty Foods Cornbread w/cheddar cheese & jalapenos | $12.99
- Green Tomato Buffet Catering Cornbread | .35 per serving
- Wades Restaurant Cornbread
New Years Meal Traditions In Other Cultures
I figure if doing a little to help inspire lady luck is good, then doing ALL THE THINGS is better, right? If you want to pile on a bunch of lucky traditions to seal the deal with 2022, here are some more tasty traditions.
- 12 Grapes – Mexico & Spain
The Mexican (I’m Mexican) tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight is said to bring you 12 months of good luck. Now that I mention it, I think I forgot to do that the last two years.
- Tamales – Mexico
The tradition of eating tamales isn’t so much of a luck thing, although if you have a tia or abuela that makes them for you – that is already good fortune. For those of you that want to partake of the Mexican holiday tradition, there are Places in the Upstate with Holiday Tamales.
- Long (Soba) Noodles – Japan
In the Japanese culture, people eat buckwheat soba noodles at midnight on New Year’s Eve to welcome the new year. The long noodles symbolize longevity and prosperity, and the practice dates back hundreds of years. Sakura Japanese Steakhouse has several Soba Noodle entrees on their menu to ring in the New Year.