Mypigmeup | Happy New Year and all That Hog Jowl!
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Happy New Year and all That Hog Jowl!

Happy New Year and all That Hog Jowl!

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In the South, we have a scrumptious New Year’s tradition for your enjoyment and consideration to which we owe the pig some big thanks. Perhaps you have never heard of hog jowl but it is something we eat every New Year’s Day. Similar to bacon but thicker and substantially more coarse, hog jowl is believed to bring good luck to all who consume it on this day.


Hog jowl is a tough cut of meat from the “cheek” of the hog. Typically, this cut of meat is best when smoked, cured, and fried like bacon. Hog jowl can also be used when seasoning beans, peas, and greens for a divine flavor that’s hard to turn down.


For New Year’s Day, hog jowls are traditionally fried and eaten to promote health, prosperity, and success. Those of us who live in the South are not alone in our New Year’s Day beliefs. All over the world, people celebrate the beginning of a New Year with pork. Germany is known for creating marzipan pigs for centerpieces and for giving to neighbors. Austria natives enjoy dining on pig’s feet, pork sausage, roast suckling pig, or pork dumplings.


Pigs: the Symbol of Health and Wealth

Pigs have always been symbolic of health and wealth in the South as owning a hog could mean a family’s survival for the entire winter. The fatty meat which pigs provide can help to create a significant source of food for those who are not wealthy. In times past, having pork in one’s possession would mean the difference between life and death for some poor Southern families.


Pigs: the Symbol of Success

Throughout history, pigs have also symbolized success and progress. There is a superstition that because pigs cannot turn their heads to look back, they are always looking to the future which makes them a perfect fit for many New Year’s Day celebrations.


But Why the Tough Cut of Hog Jowls?

This can be answered quite easily – because it is winter time. Because Hog Jowl is a cut that can be cured and stored for a long period of time, it becomes the perfect choice for our New Year’s Day spread. Another reason to choose hog jowl is the added benefit of seasoning those black-eyed peas and greens which we also consider good luck to consume on this special day.


How to Buy Hog Jowl

Hog Jowl is usually packaged just like thick-sliced bacon or on the rind. Cooks remove the rind and slice the jowl before frying it on both sides in a skillet. Drain the fried meat on a paper towel and serve it with the rest of your holiday feast. A good condiment to have available is Tobasco sauce or hot sauce.


How to Cook Hog Jowl

Cooking hog jowl is amazingly simple as it can be cooked exactly like bacon. Season your black-eyed peas and collard greens just as you would with bacon pieces. Southerners like my Mother would say that isn’t enough hog jowl to bring prosperity. You would need to also fry some hog jowl up to eat as well. Because it is a tougher cut, you will have to fry it longer than you would bacon. Deep frying is recommended for the best flavor. In the South, we have deep fried almost everything at one time or another.


Don’t Feel Bad for Pigging Out on New Year’s Day

Through the ages, hogs and pigs have been a symbol of both positive and negative proportions through the aspects of prosperity and gluttony. Some say they are “being a pig” when they eat more than they feel they should have while other cultures have traditions that imply the more pig consumed on New Year’s Day, the more money will come to you in the coming year. For those of us who simply love food, this is great news. Now we have a great reason to return to the table for seconds.


From our Home to Yours,

May You Have a Prosperous and Pig-tastic New Year!

  • Davey
    Posted at 13:00h, 07 January Reply

    That such a cool activity and postive way to start a new year. Living in the south my entire life never heard such of a idea. I may have to start this tradation in my home next year. Thanks for the great infomation. Happy New Year to you!!

  • Halo
    Posted at 13:41h, 07 January Reply

    Hey Lillian, I’ve never heard of hog jowl before but it sounds pretty darn good! Love the blog! I’m a year of the Pig as well btw 🙂

    • Dharmender
      Posted at 04:56h, 15 February Reply

      Sorry, missed a bit, apavorpls. Ten is a magic number for any stock kept in Isaan, people seem convinced that is the maximum that they can keep without getting any apavorpls, wrong! With pigs start with the village head, ask him to call a meeting of the villagers and explain where the pigs will be housed and how many. If there are no objections then the go ahead is to get approval from the local Health Care Centre doctor. The sty can be built without any documentation as long as it is no bigger than the normal Isaam house (6 8 metres).To be effected by formal Thai Regulations for pig farms you need to have over 500 pigs.Since this is your money but being done by the Thai Family, then my suggestion is to hand over the money and ask This is all I am going to put in, is it enough? If they say yes then pay up and walk away.

  • Kevin
    Posted at 05:59h, 08 January Reply

    Wow, I’ve heard that pigs were sacred to the ancient egyptians, but I didn’t know that they had such a value for the family well-being in the South too! Now I’m actually considering of getting one this year (I have an yard). Thanks for the good proposal and have a pig-tastic year too!

  • Derek Harris
    Posted at 13:35h, 09 January Reply

    Hey Lillian! Cool post! Hope your New Year is going Pig-Tastic so far! I also didn’t know pis symbolized Success, Health, and Wealth…. seriously??

  • Chandler
    Posted at 14:45h, 11 January Reply

    In England, science say “ancestors of human is a genetics combination from monkeys and pigs 😀

  • esyadiana
    Posted at 16:11h, 11 January Reply

    wah, i dun know there is something like this. u really knows how enjoy yourself.

  • Tiago
    Posted at 16:36h, 11 January Reply

    Hi Lillian, I’ve never heard of hog jowl before but it sounds pretty darn good!, Thanks for the good proposal and have a pig-tastic year too!

  • Gabi
    Posted at 17:41h, 11 January Reply

    Hi Lilian! First , I want to wish you a Pig-tastic New Year! Your Blog is very unique and interesting. I read all your post and I saw the whole article and I was amazed at what I read.Keep up the good work!

  • Jon
    Posted at 17:44h, 11 January Reply

    Hi Lilian! Your Blog is very unique and interesting. I read all your post and I saw the whole article and I was amazed at what I read.Keep up the good work! Best wishes for you!

  • Mike
    Posted at 20:09h, 11 January Reply

    Hi Lilian!Your Blog is very interesting.I Read The whole article is very Important To know About Pig lool I wish homer simpsons was here Thanks for the great infomation. Happy New Year to you!!

  • Mike
    Posted at 20:13h, 11 January Reply

    Hi Lilian!I Think is very Important to know about cooking. that was amazing I wish someday to prepare something like you keep up the good work and Happy New Year

  • Rocco
    Posted at 03:52h, 12 January Reply

    I do not think the pig, cooking and eating are very important aspects in the winter holidays, consider that the company of family and close people is the most important, we cook pork but is a supplement of the celebrating mood.

  • nscarcella
    Posted at 17:15h, 16 January Reply

    I’m actually sitting here munching on a honey ham sandwich while reading this post lol. But that’s besides the point. I wish you all the happiness in the new Year 😉

  • Debbie Doucette
    Posted at 16:51h, 19 January Reply

    Hog Jowl sounds really, really good. I have never tried it!

  • Princess & over my ex
    Posted at 17:06h, 19 January Reply

    Like many of the other commentators, I am surprised that the pig is a symbol of success. That is very interesting! Maybe I will start wearing pig charms on my charm bracelet 🙂

  • Erica Lynn
    Posted at 18:07h, 26 January Reply

    I do love food more than life itself lol. That is so good to know! Thx for all these interesting #facts

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