Maybe I should explain the connection of hog jowl to bacon. First, what is jowl? According to Webster, jowl is
Second, bacon does not come from the cheek so why talk bacon when I mean jowl? It is not the cut but the taste which connects the jowl to bacon. The similarity is in the way the jowl is cooked and of course, its taste. Typically, the jowl is smoked and cured since it is a tough cut of meat. Then, it is used to season the beans, black-eyed peas, turnip greens, collards, etc. It can also be fried and eaten like thick bacon.
Let's talk pig vs. chicken...
Now that you have a better understanding of jowl, let's talk pig vs. chicken, rootin' vs. scratchin'. There is an old saying about pig rootin' that overshadows chicken scratchin' thereby making pork dishes the better choice over chicken on this day anyway. That is to say chicken of any kind: casseroled, crocked, crusted, baked, BBQed, boiled, braised, broiled, fingered, fricasseed, fried, grilled, nuggeted, pied, roasted, rotisseried, rubbed, saladed, sandwiched, sauced, sauteed, seared, stir-fried, stuffed. Need I say more? Of course, the scratchin' also leaves the turkey off the table for New Year's Day. Did you bring the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving out of the freezer for that delicious turkey sandwich? OOPS! You broke tradition!
Let's get back to the pig rootin' instead of scratchin'...
Did you put pork on your fork?
Hopefully you loaded up so to speak. You do want to have a prosperous New Year. Right? Keep in mind that pigs (hogs, too) have long been symbols of prosperity and gluttony. It is a common saying to refer to persons as "being a pig" or "pigging out," which means they are taking more than their share, often leaving little to none for someone else. It is even believed in some customs that the bigger pig you eat on New Year's, the more stuffed (with $$$) your wallet will become in the coming year. Seems that implies the "fatter" the pig, the "fatter" the wallet.
What was on your menu today? Many variances are subject of conversation in different parts of the world because of the diversity in customs, traditions and availability of foods. Time to ring the dinner bell! In the South, this is a typical lucky New Year's Southern Supper...
Roasted Pulled Pork
Black-eyed Peas & Pot Likker
Collard Greens & Hog Jowl
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Leafy Green Salad (This is the only optional dish.)
Buttermilk Corn Bread
Fried Lacy Cornbread
For dessert, Pumpkin Pie
Go to Awakenings' sister site, catnipoflife, for a visit with the little piggies. It just might change your mind about putting pork on your fork in spite of its symbol of good fortune!