peas, peas everywhere

Who honestly knew there were so many kinds of peas?  When I think of peas, I think of one kind–the green peas sitting patiently in a bag in our freezer waiting to be a last minute addition to the kids’ dinner plates.

Our CSA list for the week just arrived, and I am left wondering what on earth are “cream peas.”  I know what the purple hull peas are as we have happily had a couple bags of them already.  I know what roma beans are now, and they were tasty.  I have even shelled butterbeans with the assistance of little w., and they came out great.  I am, however, still confused about these cream peas.

A brief google search does little to enlighten; most results seem to relate to “creamed peas” which I am most definitely sure I do not want to make nor consume.


And I thought my food photography was off-putting??

This next search result from a member of the University of Florida Vegetable Crop Dept. seemed promising but does little to actually make my head stop hurting.  I honestly never realized that there was so much going on in the legume world.

The Victory Seed Company, however, starts to clear this mess up.  According to these fine folks, the cream pea is one of four types of cowpea.

Cowpeas or Southern Peas are probably native to the continent of Africa and brought to the United States in early Colonial times. They became a staple food in the Southeastern U.S. where they are eaten as green shelled peas or left to dry on the vine for later use.

They are more likely to succeed in areas with warm soil temperatures (at least 60F) and no danger of frost for ninety to one hundred days after planting. They are highly tolerant of drought and a wide variety of soil conditions, including heavy clay and sandy soils. Soil pH can range from 5.5 to 7. In areas with cooler climates, the plants will tend to be plagued with pests and disease.

Now, I’ll just have to figure out how to prepare them…



  1. Kara said

    Mwa, ha, ha! I bent Google to my will and came up with this post from a cream pea-related thread on the “Beans, Peas, and Legumes” Forum of iVillage:

    “I grew up eating these peas. I cook (fresh frozen & thawed) them in a medium pot with enough water to cover plus 1/2″. Add salt, pepper and a small bit of salt pork or bacon. Cook on low to medium low heat until the water is just below the top of the peas. The flavor is delicate so you don’t want to over season or over cook these little guys. Hope you enjoy!”

    I, too, have to admit to what amounts to a truly staggering level of ignorance about the variety available in the legume world.

    • eluet said

      W. will love that recipe as it involves a little pork (he’s southern, forgive him). I love how there is a “beans, peas, and legumes” thread out there. There’s a special topic for everyone, isn’t there? Thanks for being my research assistant!

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: