Southern tradition holds that eating black-eyed peas on New Year's brings good luck for the next 12 months. Our panelists weren't too concerned about custom, but they like to enjoy a good recipe with black-eyed peas. They shared stories of black-eyed peas with pork and greens, spiced and stirred into gumbo, salsa or New Year's Day stew. Officially, black-eyed peas are really beans. We found several options in local grocery stores, including many with added pork and spices. However, for this tasting, we went for canned black-eyed peas with no added ingredients.
Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent