WHAT IS A MARROWFAT PEA?
Also known as mushy peas, this is a popular pulse in English cuisine as well as in Asian snacks. The marrowfat peas is thought to have been introduced from Japan in the early 1900s, These peas are a member of the Maro family (thus earning the nickname marrow). The latter half of their name is because of their plump or “fat” size. Traditionally they’re allowed to fully mature. Unlike most peas marrowfats are allowed to dry naturally in the field before being harvested.
WHY ARE MARROWFAT PEAS GOOD FOR YOU?
So lower quality peas are often canned which changes slightly the nutritional benefits. The primary determinant is whether or not the peas have a strong, green color. These pulses in general are a good source of protein and fiber (both soluble and insoluble). They’re also a good source of calcium, iron and vitamin A.
WHEN ARE MARROWFAT PEAS IN SEASON?
Like all peas they are a summer crop. Usually marrowfats are ready to harvest in 2 to 3 months depending. However they’re not as hardy as other varietals. Like most peas they have shallow roots and will bleach in damp, wet conditions so always give them the most attention.
WHAT KINDS OF RECIPES USE MARROWFAT PEAS?
English pea soup is uses marrowfat as its main ingredient. Click here for a recipe! Don’t be surprised to see ingredients like rosemary included, what is thought of as a boring recipe is actually quite delicious!
WERE MARROWFAT PEAS ACTUALLY AN ENGLISH INVENTION?
So the term marrowfat is actually recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary in the early 1700s. This is several hundred years before the peas were supposedly imported from Japan. There is a good article here about another theory that the peas never came from Japan. Instead they were invented in England by Victorians with a fashionable passion for breeding plants!