Omnivore - Thanks for the black-eyed peas, Gov. Brewer

Luck's is a Mexican owned company in Arizona

Image It's weird how a craving for something not-so-good can hit you out of the blue. For the last week, I've been craving canned black-eyed peas from Luck's.

My mother used to cook dried black-eyes for hours with lots of bacon. She frequently used the peas to make Hoppin' John with stinging amounts of black pepper and chopped green onions. But it wasn't unusual for her to open a can of Luck's black-eyes, either. They also became a staple of my undergrad years, when I was married and living on next to nothing.

Luck's were the favored canned black-eyes at the time. As I recall, the broth in which they were canned was far more flavorful and thicker than others.

So, a few days ago, I went shopping and could not find the peas at Kroger or Publix. Kroger sold a few other canned beans with the Luck's label. But I couldn't find any Luck's products at all at Publix. I did find the Luck's black-eyes online at Walmart, of all places.

Meanwhile, I bought a can of Bush's, which totally dominates the canned beans market now, apparently. Just as I remembered, they were a bit watery and, despite being cooked with bacon and jalapeños, had very little flavor, but enough to kill my craving.

I was curious about Luck's story and did some Google sleuthing. The company, which began in 1948, was sold to American Home Products in 1967. Then it was purchased by ConAgra in 2000. Then, in 2010, ConAgra sold the brand to Arizona Canning Company.

Interestingly, Arizona Canning is owned by the huge Mexican corporation, Conservas La Costeña, located in Tuscon, Arizona. Yes, that's right. A gigantic Mexican-owned factory is located in the state governed by Jan Brewer, who is obsessed with illegal immigrants and, just a few days ago, advocated banning immigrants from the Middle East. Arizona is of course the site of the nation's severest immigration law.

I'm not saying Arizona Canning is run by illegal immigrants. But it does strike me as funny that Tuscon is home to a company that basically outsources some of its products to the US.