Hoppin' John originated on slave plantations in the Low Country region of South Carolina. The dish of black-eyed peas, pork and rice first appeared in cookbooks around the 1840s.
African slaves who cultivated rice for South Carolina plantation owners created Hoppin' John. They had access to rice and black-eyed peas brought to America by slave traders. Stories vary regarding the origins of the name Hoppin' John. Some people believe an old man who went by the name Hoppin' John sold the dish in Charleston. Others believe that the name came about based on the actions of children, who hopped around the table waiting to be served the dish.