The 29th of December is Pepper Pot Day, a day for pepper pot soup.
On this day in 1777, reputedly, George Washington’s army cooks fed the troops pepper pot soup at their winter encampment in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Sometimes an exact cook, Christopher Ludwick, is named as having invented the soup on this day, and as having fed all the troops single-handedly with it.
Pepper pot soup would go on to become an iconic part of the Philadelphia food scene.
As “tripe” is a sticking point for many people these days, stewing beef is typically suggested as the substitute to use.
Not using tripe has lots of precedent. A Caribbean version does not use tripe. And in Guyana, where pepper pot soup is traditionally served at Christmas, it’s made with chicken, not tripe.
Pepper pot soup was almost certainly not invented on this day, and it does seem unlikely that the cooks would have been able to procure fresh peppers for the soup in the dead of an eighteenth century winter.
To celebrate pepper pot soup day, you can make it, or buy it from a supermarket, or enjoy some at a restaurant.
Havernale, Richard. Be Not Afraid-Winter Edition Dec/Jan/Feb 2018-19. Self-published. 2018. Pp 198-199.
Jordan, Tom. Today is National Pepper Pot Day. KYSS FM Radio. 29 December 2011. Accessed November 2020 at http://kyssfm.com/today-is-national-pepper-pot-day/
Lederer, Dan. National Pepper Pot Day. Blog entry. 30 December 2016. Accessed November 2020 at https://danlederer.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/day-151-national-pepper-pot-day/