Tuesday 31 October 2017

Black Peas

Black peas are a local delicacy to us and really not to be missed. Around this time of year they're all over the shops and everyone is talking about them. If you haven't been to Lancashire or North Manchester though, you may never have even heard of them...

Just like green peas, black peas are a legume, and they're eaten boiled into a mushy pea. They've loads of names including Parched Peas, Mapple Peas, Chestnut Peas and Pidgeon Peas, but generally they're just Black Peas. They're actually Purple Podded Peas and they are slightly less sweet than green peas, with a hint of nuttiness and a firmer texture, so they maintain their shape better. Their skin is soft and thin and breaks down well when they're boiled, which is another benefit over mushy green peas.

In Autumn you can buy dried Black Peas in markets and shops the North West UK or order online. Like any dried produce they need to be rinsed well until the water runs clear and soaked for about 8 hours or overnight. Then simmer in water until soft.

Don't add salt to the water or your peas will be tough like bullets. You can add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to help them break down and make them softer, but if you add too much they'll taste slightly bitter.

As a rough guide you'll need to simmer over a low heat for a good 2-3 hours to get to your preferred consistency - don't let the pan boil dry. Season with a little salt once the peas are cooked and serve with lashings of vinegar...in a mug with a spoon. Perfect for warming up the little monsters on Halloween and Bonfire Night.


  1. Never heard of this before! not something I would try either, but I can see its good on a chilly evening

    1. They're delicious Tina! How could you say you wouldn't try them? If you ever come up to Manchester...


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