Tuesday, August 6, 2013

To pea or not to pea?

After going to the farmers market this weekend I'd bought a plethora of seasonal goods, as I usually do. I bought my normal go-to's: non-GM tomatoes (two varieties, as per my norm for snacking and cooking reasons), wild rocket, celery, and carrots. I visited the local organic butcher and bought myself some honey smoked ham and leek pork sausages (going to try his sausages this week and see how they're different from the local pork sausage man).

I also bought some peas in a pod.

Now I had assumed, upon buying them, that they were the normal sugar snap peas that I was used to eating at home in California. The kind that after you clean off the strings (which I've already done in this picture) you can eat whole.

So I took a night to string them and then put them back in the fridge for easy consumption at some later date (like last night).

I had happily poured some salad cream into a bowl and was sitting down to watch an episode of Deadwood when I dipped and popped one in my mouth.

Hmm...a bit stringy. Maybe that one was a bit old.

So I tried another. Or three.

Nope, they're definitely all like that, despite my pre-stringing them already and removing all of the stems that I could (even with a knife sometimes).

It occurred to me then, as I was sitting there, that I might be dealing with peas you did not eat the pods of. These are unusual in California - we don't normally sell them though you can get them if you are part of a CSA (community supported agriculture program).

So I tried just eating the peas out of one of them. Very tasty and sweet, even raw.


So I shelled the rest and ate them while posting a question about in on FB to my friends.

The consensus? Definitely I was dealing with English peas, the kind that you shell. Whoops, my bad.

I've now shelled and appropriately used the rest of my peas. Tasty in my cooking life.

Now I know the general tricks though: if they're large, rounder pods (not flat) and there are spaces between the peas, probably a shelling pea rather than a whole-consumable pea.

Good to know. Learn something new, everyday. ;)

The cooking adventures...continue!

Next to buy that I want to try at the farmers market: in-season squashes and potentially some eggplants. They looked gorgeous but I was already being overzealous with my purchases. At this rate though, may need to hit up the farmers market again this weekend. Could I be becoming an...everyweek shopper? O_O

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