Parched peas are a traditional Guy Fawkes snack up in the north of England. They sell them in polystyrene cups from vans or in Preston, from brown paper bags. Rather like chips, they are doused with salt and malt vinegar.
You can use dried peas or tinned. This pea is a dark maple or Carlin pea (British pea growers Hodmedods sell it) and they have a nutty, firm but fudgy flavour. Carlin stems from an ancient regional word for old woman or, for Halloween purposes, witch.
If using dried, soak for 24 hours, then boil in salted water for an hour. If you like them ‘al dente’ as they do in Lancashire, that should be enough. Other areas in the North prefer them softer. They are referred to as ‘parched’ because there is no stewing liquid, being quite dry apart from the vinegar. Once they are cooked or if you are using tinned, follow the steps in the recipe below. I’ve added a luxury touch, balsamic vinegar, to dress them.
These can of course be eaten at any time of the year. We should all be increasing our intake of pulses, good for diabetes, the menopause and the winter diet.
Try this warming, comforting, healthy recipe to eat around the bonfire this weekend.
Parched Peas for Bonfire Night recipe
400g cooked Carlin peas, drained
1 or 2 tbsp vinegar (any sort)
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar for garnishing
Heat up the peas on a medium to low heat in a saucepan.
Simmer for around five minutes.
Serve them in a china or enamel mug with balsamic vinegar poured on top. Eat hot or cold with a teaspoon.
Yum! They don't look beautiful, but sound like exactly what you want to eat when it's cold and nasty. 'Carlin' is a dialect word here in Ayrshire and was used by Robert Burns in 'Tam o Shanter' – his poem about witches and the devil.
Kerstin Rodgers aka MsMarmiteLover
How interesting! They are super tasty, I wish they sold them in London.