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The pea is most commonly the small spherical
seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was released to generally positi ...

seed
or the seed-pod of the pod
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
''Pisum sativum''. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow. Botanically, pea pods are
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
, since they contain seeds and develop from the ovary of a (pea) flower. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the
Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,International Code of Nomenc ...

Fabaceae
such as the
pigeon pea The pigeon pea (''Cajanus cajan'') is a perennial legume from the family (biology), family Fabaceae. Since its domestication in the Indian subcontinent at least 3,500 years ago, its seeds have become a common food in Asia, Africa, and Latin Ameri ...
(''Cajanus cajan''), the
cowpea The cowpea (''Vigna unguiculata'') is an Annual plant, annual Herbaceous plant, herbaceous legume from the genus ''Vigna''. Due to its tolerance for sandy soil and low rainfall, it is an important crop in the Semi-arid climate, semiarid regions a ...

cowpea
(''Vigna unguiculata''), and the seeds from several species of ''
Lathyrus ''Lathyrus'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circum ...

Lathyrus
''. Peas are
annual plant An annual plant is a plant that completes its life cycle Life cycle, life-cycle, or lifecycle may refer to: Science and academia *Biological life cycle, the sequence of life stages that an organism undergoes from birth to reproduction ending w ...
s, with a
life cycle Life cycle, life-cycle, or lifecycle may refer to: Science and academia *Biological life cycle, the sequence of life stages that an organism undergoes from birth to reproduction ending with the production of the offspring *Life-cycle hypothesis, ...
of one year. They are a cool-season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 gram. The immature peas (and in
snow pea The snow pea is an edible-pod pea with flat pods and thin pod walls. It is eaten whole, with both the seeds and the Pod vegetable, pod, while still Ripening, unripe. Names The common name snow pea seems to be a misnomer as the planting season ...
s the tender pod as well) are used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned; varieties of the species typically called field peas are grown to produce dry peas like the
split pea
split pea
shelled from a matured pod. These are the basis of
pease porridge Pease pudding, also known as pease porridge, is a savoury pudding dish made of boiled legumes, typically Split pea, split yellow peas, with water, salt and spices, and often cooked with a bacon or ham joint. A common dish in the North-East Of En ...
and
pea soup Pea soup or split pea soup is soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a flui ...

pea soup
, staples of
medieval cuisine Medieval cuisine includes foods, eating habits, and cooking methods of various European cultures during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, org ...
; in Europe, consuming fresh immature green peas was an innovation of early modern cuisine.


Description

A pea is a most commonly green, occasionally golden yellow, or infrequently purple pod-shaped
vegetable Vegetables are parts of plants that are consumed by humans or other animals as food. The original meaning is still commonly used and is applied to plants collectively to refer to all edible plant matter, including the edible flower, flowers, ...

vegetable
, widely grown as a cool-season vegetable crop. The seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches , with the plants growing best at temperatures of . They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a la ...

climate
s, but do grow well in cooler, high-altitude, tropical areas. Many cultivars reach maturity about 60 days after planting. Peas have both low-growing and
vining
vining
cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin
tendril upA curling tendril In botany, a tendril is a specialized Plant stem, stem, leaf or Petiole (botany), petiole with a threadlike shape used by climbing plants for support and attachment, as well as cellular invasion by parasitic plants such as '' ...

tendril
s from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from
tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including only wood plants with se ...

tree
s or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are called pea sticks or sometimes pea brush. Metal fences,
twine Twine is a strong thread Thread or threads may refer to: Objects * Thread (yarn), a kind of thin yarn used for sewing ** Thread (unit of measurement), a cotton yarn measure * Screw thread, a helical ridge on a cylindrical fastener Arts and enter ...

twine
, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can
self-pollinate Self-pollination is a form of pollination in which pollen from the same plant arrives at the Stigma (botany), stigma of a flower (in flowering plants) or at the ovule (in gymnosperms). There are two types of self-pollination: in autogamy, pollen is ...
.


History

The wild pea is restricted to the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas date from the late Neolithic era of current Greece, Syria, Turkey, Israel, Iraq and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from c. 4800–4400 BC in the
Nile delta The Nile Delta ( ar, دلتا النيل, or simply , ) is the delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), ...
area, and from c. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in
Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country), a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia * Georgia (U.S. state), one of the states of the United States of America Georgia may also refer to: Historical states and entities * Democratic Republ ...
in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in
Afghanistan Afghanistan (; Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian language The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages The Iranian or Iranic languages are a branch of t ...

Afghanistan
c. 2000 BC; in
Harappan civilization oxen for pulling a cart and the presence of the chicken, a domesticated jungle fowl. The Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilisation in the northwestern regions of South Asia, lasting from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE, ...
around modern-day
Pakistan Pakistan, . Pronounced variably in English as , , , and . officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country in South Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, fifth-most populous country, with a popul ...

Pakistan
and western- and northwestern
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC, this legume crop appears in the
Ganges Basin The Ganga Basin is a part of the Ganges The Ganges ( ) or Ganga ( , ) is a trans-boundary river of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemi ...

Ganges Basin
and southern India. In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. From plants growing wild in the Mediterranean Basin, constant selection since the Neolithic dawn of agriculture improved their yield. In the early 3rd century BC
Theophrastus Theophrastus (; grc-gre, Θεόφραστος ; c. 371c. 287 BC), a Greek native of Eresos Eresos (; el, Ερεσός; grc, Ἔρεσος) and its twin beach village Skala Eresou are located in the southwest part of the Greek island of Le ...

Theophrastus
mentions peas among the
legumes A legume () is a in the family (or Leguminosae), or the or of such a plant. When used as a dry , the seed is also called a pulse. Legumes are grown agriculturally, primarily for human consumption, for and , and as soil-enhancing . Well-kno ...
that are sown late in the winter because of their tenderness. In the first century AD,
Columella Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (; Arabic: Yunius, 4 – c. 70 AD) was a prominent writer on agriculture in the Roman empire. His ''De re rustica'' in twelve volumes has been completely preserved and forms an important source on Roman agri ...
mentions them in ''
De re rustica Lucius Junius Moderatus Columella (; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language that first emerged in the 1st to 4th centuries CE.Semitic languages: an international handbook / edited by Stefan Weninger; in collaboration wit ...
'', when Roman legionaries still gathered wild peas from the sandy soils of
Numidia Numidia (Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an ethnic group mostly concentrated in North Africa, specifica ...

Numidia
and
Judea Judea or Judaea ( or ; from he, יהודה, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Yəhūda'', Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Yehūḏā''; el, Ἰουδαία, ; la, Iūdaea) is the ancient, historic, Biblical Hebrew, contemporaneous ...
to supplement their rations. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, field peas are constantly mentioned, as they were the staple that kept
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
at bay, as
Charles the Good Charles the Good (10842 March 1127) was Count of Flanders Image:Coat of Arms of the Count of Flanders (according to the Gelre Armorial).svg, 150px, Coat of arms of the counts of Flanders. The count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the ...

Charles the Good
, count of
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
, noted explicitly in 1124. Green "garden" peas, eaten immature and fresh, were an innovative luxury of
Early Modern Europe Early modern Europe, also referred to as the post-medieval period, is the period of European history The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past ...
. In England, the distinction between field peas and garden peas dates from the early 17th century:
John Gerard John Gerard (also John Gerarde, c. 1545–1612) was an English botanist with a large herbal garden in London. His 1,484-page illustrated ''Herball, or Generall Historie of Plantes'', first published in 1597, became the most prevalent botany boo ...
and John Parkinson both mention garden peas. Sugar peas, which the French called , because they were eaten pods and all, were introduced to France from the market gardens of
Holland Holland is a geographical region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (en ...

Holland
in the time of
Henri IV , house = House of Bourbon, Bourbon , father = Antoine of Navarre , mother = Jeanne III of Navarre , religion =Protestantism 1553-1595 Roman Catholicism 1595-1610 , signature= Signature of Henry IV of France.svg , succe ...

Henri IV
, through the French ambassador. Green peas were introduced from
Genoa Genoa ( ; it, Genova ; locally ; lij, Zêna ; English, historically, and la, Genua) is the capital of the Regions of Italy, Italian region of Liguria and the List of cities in Italy, sixth-largest city in Italy. In 2015, 594,733 people lived ...
to the court of
Louis XIV of France Louis XIV (Louis Dieudonné; 5 September 16381 September 1715), also known as Louis the Great () or the Sun King (), was from 14 May 1643 until his death in 1715. His reign of 72 years and 110 days is the of any monarch of a sovereign country in ...

Louis XIV of France
in January 1660, with some staged fanfare; a
hamper A hamper refers to one of several related basket-like items. In primarily British usage, it refers to a wicker Wicker is a technique for making products woven from any one of a variety of pliable plant materials, a generic name for the material ...

hamper
of them were presented before the King, and then were shelled by the Savoyan comte de Soissons, who had married a niece of
Cardinal Mazarin Cardinal Jules Mazarin (, also , , ; 14 July 1602 – 9 March 1661), born Giulio Raimondo Mazzarino () or Mazarini, was an Italian cardinal Cardinal or The Cardinal may refer to: Christianity * Cardinal (Catholic Church), a senior official ...

Cardinal Mazarin
; little dishes of peas were then presented to the King, the Queen, Cardinal Mazarin and Monsieur, the king's brother. Immediately established and grown for earliness warmed with
manure Animal manure is often a mixture of animal feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable.">stable.html" ;"title="feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable">feces and bedding straw, as in this example from a stable. ...

manure
and protected
under glass
under glass
, they were still a luxurious delicacy in 1696, when
Mme de Maintenon
Mme de Maintenon
and Mme de Sevigné each reported that they were "a fashion, a fury". Modern
split pea
split pea
s, with their indigestible skins rubbed off, are a development of the later 19th century.


Cultivation


Modern culinary use

In modern times peas are usually boiled or
steamed Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. This is often done with a food steamer, a kitchen appliance made specifically to cook food with steam, but food can also be steamed in a wok. In the American southwest, steam pits used for cooking have ...
, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more
bioavailable In pharmacology Pharmacology is a branch of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences concerned with drug or medication action, where a drug may be defined as any artificial, natural, or endogenous (from within the body) molecule which exerts a bio ...
. Along with
broad bean ''Vicia faba'', also known in the culinary sense as the broad bean, fava bean, or faba bean, is a species of flowering plant in the pea and bean family Fabaceae The Fabaceae or Leguminosae,
s and
lentil The lentil (''Lens culinaris'' or ''Lens esculenta'') is an edible legume A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, co ...
s, these formed an important part of the diet of most people in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe during the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. By the 17th and 18th centuries, it had become popular to eat peas "green", that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time, which became known as "garden" or "English" peas. The popularity of green peas spread to
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
.
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate. With the invention of canning and freezing of foods, green peas became available year-round, and not just in the spring as before. Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with
butter Butter is a dairy product Dairy products or milk products are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, animal or Fungus, fungal origin, and contai ...

butter
and/or
spearmint Spearmint, also known as garden mint, common mint, lamb mint and mackerel mint, is a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, c ...

spearmint
as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in
pot pie Pot pie is the North American North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the ...
s, salads and
casserole A casserole (French language, French: diminutive of ''casse'', from Provençal dialect, Provençal ''cassa'' 'pan') is a variety of a large, deep cookware and bakeware, pan or bowl used for cooking a variety of dishes in the oven; it is also a ca ...
s. Pod peas (
snow pea The snow pea is an edible-pod pea with flat pods and thin pod walls. It is eaten whole, with both the seeds and the Pod vegetable, pod, while still Ripening, unripe. Names The common name snow pea seems to be a misnomer as the planting season ...
s and
snap pea The snap pea, also known as the sugar snap pea, is an edible-pod pea with rounded pods and thick pod walls, in contrast to snow pea pods, which are flat with thin walls. The name mangetout (French language, French for "eat all") can apply to snap ...
s) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in
American Chinese cuisine American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the "United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
. Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly, are best preserved by drying,
canning Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container (jar A jar is a rigid, cylindrical or slightly conical container, typically made of , , or , with a wide mouth or op ...

canning
or
freezing Freezing is a phase transition where a liquid turns into a solid when its temperature is lowered below its freezing point. In accordance with the internationally established definition, freezing means the solidification phase change of a liquid o ...

freezing
within a few hours of harvest. In
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
, fresh peas are used in various dishes such as ''aloo matar'' (curried potatoes with peas) or '' mattar paneer'' (
paneer Paneer (), also known as ponir () or Indian cottage cheese, is a fresh cheese, fresh acid-set cheese common in the Indian subcontinent (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) made from cow or buffalo milk. It is a Ch ...
cheese with peas), though they can be substituted with frozen peas as well. Peas are also eaten raw, as they are sweet when fresh off the bush. Green Peas known as Hasiru Batani in
Kannada Kannada (; ಕನ್ನಡ, ; less commonly known as Kanarese) is a Dravidian language Dravidian languages (or sometimes Dravidic languages) are a family of languages In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of peop ...

Kannada
are used to make curry and Gasi. Split peas are also used to make ''
dal In Indian cuisine Indian cuisine consists of a variety of regional and traditional cuisines native to the Indian subcontinent. Given the diversity in soil, climate, culture, ethnic groups, and occupations, these cuisines vary substant ...

dal
'', particularly in
Guyana Guyana ( or ), officially the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a country on the northern mainland of South America and the capital city is Georgetown Guyana, Georgetown. Guyana is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Brazil to the ...

Guyana
, and
Trinidad Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago (, ), officially the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, is the southernmost island country in the Caribbean The Caribbean ( ...

Trinidad
, where there is a significant population of
Indians Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
. Dried peas are often made into a
soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid flow, flow in which the material de ...

soup
or simply eaten on their own. In
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
,
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
,
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
and some
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
n countries, including
Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the centre of the Mainland Southeast Asia, Indochinese Peninsula, spanning , wi ...

Thailand
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
and
Malaysia Malaysia ( ; ) is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Malaysia
, peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as
snack A snack is a small portion of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organism ...

snack
s. In the Philippines, peas, while still in their pods, are a common ingredient in viands and
pansit Pancit ( ), also spelled pansít, is a general term referring to various traditional noodle Noodles are a type of food Food is any substance consumed to provide Nutrient, nutritional support for an organism. Food is usually of plant, a ...

pansit
. In the UK, dried yellow or green split peas are used to make
pease pudding Pease pudding, also known as pease porridge, is a savoury pudding dish made of boiled Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapour pressure of the l ...
(or "pease porridge"), a traditional dish. In North America, a similarly traditional dish is split
pea soup Pea soup or split pea soup is soup Soup is a primarily liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a flui ...

pea soup
. Pea soup is eaten in many other parts of the world, including
northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern region of Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other geographic ...
, parts of
middle Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commo ...
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
,
Iraq Iraq ( ar, الْعِرَاق, translit=al-ʿIrāq; ku, عێراق, translit=Êraq), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆماری عێراق, translit=Komarî Êraq), is a country i ...

Iraq
and
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
. In Sweden it is called ''ärtsoppa'', and is eaten as a traditional Swedish food which predates the
Viking Age The Viking Age (793–1066 AD) was the period during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation o ...
. This food was made from a fast-growing pea that would mature in a short growing season. ''Ärtsoppa'' was especially popular among the poor, who traditionally only had one pot and everything was cooked together for a dinner using a
tripod using a surveyor's tripod A tripod is a portable three-legged frame or stand, used as a platform for supporting the weight In science and engineering, the weight of an object is the force acting on the object due to gravity. Some standard ...

tripod
to hold the pot over the fire. In
Chinese cuisine Chinese cuisine is an important part of and includes s originating from . Because of the and historical power of the country, Chinese cuisine has influenced many other cuisines in and beyond, with modifications made to cater to local palat ...

Chinese cuisine
, the tender new growth eaves and stemdou miao ( 豆苗; ''dòu miáo'') are commonly used in stir-fries. Much like picking the leaves for tea, the farmers pick the tips off of the pea plant. In
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...

Greece
,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...

Cyprus
, and other parts of the Mediterranean, peas are made into a stew with lamb and potatoes. In
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
and
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
, pea soup is often served with
dumpling Dumpling is a broad class of dishes that consist of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling, or of dough with no filling. The dough can be based on bread Bread is a staple food prepared from a ...

dumpling
s and spiced with hot
paprika Paprika (American English more commonly , British English more commonly ) is a spice A spice is a seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2 ...

paprika
. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
, dried, rehydrated and mashed
marrowfat peas Image:Marrowfat Peas.jpg, 300px, Marrowfat peas Marrowfat peas are green mature peas (''Pisum sativum'' L. or ''Pisum sativum'' var. ''medullare'') that have been allowed to dry out naturally in the field, rather than being harvested while still you ...
, or cooked green split peas, known as mushy peas, are popular, originally in the north of England, but now ubiquitously, and especially as an accompaniment to fish and chips or meat pies, particularly in fish and chip shops. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added to soften the peas. In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pea to be Britain's seventh favourite culinary vegetable. Processed peas are mature peas which have been dried, soaked and then heat treated (processed) to prevent spoilage—in the same manner as Pasteurization, pasteurizing. Cooked peas are sometimes sold dried and coated with wasabi, salt, or other spices. In North America pea milk is produced and sold as an alternative to cow milk for a variety of reasons.


Pea sprouts

In East Asia, the sprouts or shoots of pea (;) were once dedicated cuisine when the plant was not highly available as nowadays. But now, when the plant can be easily grown, fresh pea shoots are available in supermarkets, and some people decided to grow them in their backyard.


Manufacturing frozen peas

In order to freeze and preserve peas, they must first be grown, picked, and shelled. Usually, the more tender the peas are, the more likely that they will be used in the final product. The peas must be put through the process of freezing shortly after being picked so that they do not spoil too soon. Once the peas have been selected, they are placed in ice water and allowed to cool. After, they are sprayed with water to remove any residual dirt or dust that may remain on them. The next step is blanching. The peas are boiled for a few minutes to remove any enzymes that may shorten their shelf life. They are then cooled and removed from the water. The final step is the actual freezing to produce the final product. This step may vary considerably; some companies freeze their peas by air blast freezing, where the vegetables are put through a tunnel at high speeds and frozen by cold air. Finally, the peas are packaged and shipped out for retail sale.


Grading

Pea grading involves sorting peas by size, in which the smallest peas are graded as the highest quality for their tenderness.Sivasankar, B. (2002)
''Food Processing and Preservation''
PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd. pp. 175-177.
Brines may be used, in which peas are floated, from which their density can be determined.


Varieties


Garden peas

There are many varieties (cultivars) of garden peas. Some of the most common varieties are listed here. ''PMR'' indicates some degree of powdery mildew resistance; ''afila'' types, also called semi-leafless, have clusters of tendrils instead of leaves. Unless otherwise noted these are so called dwarf varieties which grow to an average height of about 1m. Giving the vines support is recommended, but not required. Extra dwarf are suitable for container growing, reaching only about 25 cm. Tall varieties grow to about 2m with support required. * Alaska, 55 days (smooth seeded) * Tom Thumb / Half Pint, 55 days (Heirloom plant, heirloom, extra dwarf) * Thomas Laxton (heirloom) / Laxton's Progress / Progress #9, 60–65 days * Mr. Big, 60 days, 2000 All-America Selections, AAS winner * Little Marvel, 63 days, 1934 All-America Selections, AAS winner * Early Perfection, 65 days * Kelvedon Wonder, 65 days, 1997 Award of Garden Merit, RHS AGM winner * Sabre, 65 days, PMR * Homesteader / Lincoln, 67 days (heirloom, known as ''Greenfeast'' in Australia and New Zealand) * Miragreen, 68 days (tall climber) * Serge, 68 days, PMR, afila * Wando, 68 days * Green Arrow, 70 days * Recruit, 70 days, PMR, afila * Tall Telephone / Alderman, 75 days (heirloom, tall climber)


Sugar peas

Sugar peas or edible-pod peas (french: pois mange-tout, "eat-all pea"), lack the tough membrane inside the pod wall and have tender edible pods. There are two main types: *Snow peas have flat pods with thin pod walls. Pods and seeds are eaten when they are very young. *Snap peas or sugar snap peas have rounded pods with thick pod walls. Pods and seeds are eaten before maturity. The name "sugar pea" includes both types, and therefore it can be synonymous with either snow peas or snap peas in different dictionaries. Snow peas and snap peas both belong to Macrocarpon Group, a cultivar group based on the variety ''Pisum sativum'' var. ''macrocarpum'' Ser. named in 1825. It was described as having very compressed non-leathery edible pods in the original publication. The scientific name ''Pisum sativum'' var. ''saccharatum'' Ser. is often misused for snow peas. The variety under this name was described as having sub-leathery and compressed-terete pods and a French name of ''petit pois''. The description is inconsistent with the appearance of snow peas, and therefore botanists have replaced this name with ''Pisum sativum'' var. ''macrocarpum.''


Field peas

The field pea is a type of pea sometimes called ''P. sativum'' subsp. ''arvense'' (L.) Asch. It is also known as dun (grey-brown) pea, Kapucijner pea, or Austrian winter pea, and is one of the oldest domesticated crops, cultivated for at least 7,000 years. Field peas are now grown in many countries for both human consumption and stockfeed. There are several cultivars and colors including blue, dun (brown), maple and white. This pea should not be confused with the
cowpea The cowpea (''Vigna unguiculata'') is an Annual plant, annual Herbaceous plant, herbaceous legume from the genus ''Vigna''. Due to its tolerance for sandy soil and low rainfall, it is an important crop in the Semi-arid climate, semiarid regions a ...

cowpea
(''Vigna unguiculata'') which is sometimes called the "field pea" in warmer climates. It is a climbing annual legume with weak, viny, and relatively succulent stems. Vines often are 4 to 5 feet (120 to 150 cm) long, but when grown alone, field pea's weak stems prevent it from growing more than 1.5 to 2 feet (45 to 60 cm) tall. Leaves have two leaflets and a tendril. Flowers are white, pink, or purple. Pods carry seeds that are large (4,000 seeds/lb), nearly spherical, and white, gray, green, or brown. The root system is relatively shallow and small, but well nodulated. The field pea is a cool-season legume crop that is grown on over 25 million acres worldwide. It has been an important grain legume crop for millennia, seeds showing domesticated characteristics dating from at least 7000 years ago have been found in archaeological sites around what is now
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
. Field peas or "dry peas" are marketed as a dry, shelled product for either human or livestock food, unlike the garden pea, which is marketed as a fresh or canned vegetable. The major producing countries of field peas are
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
and
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
, followed by Canada, Europe, Australia and the United States. Europe, Australia, Canada and the United States raise over 4.5 million acres and are major exporters of peas. In 2002, there were approximately 300,000 acres of field peas grown in the United States.


Pests and diseases

A variety of diseases affect peas through a number of pathogens, including insects, viruses, bacteria and fungi. In particular, virus disease of peas has worldwide economic importance. Additionally, insects such as the pea leaf weevil (''Sitona lineatus'') can damage peas and other pod fruits. The pea leaf weevil is native to Europe, but has spread to other places such as Alberta, Canada. They are about — long and are distinguishable by three light-coloured stripes running length-wise down the thorax. The weevil larvae feed on the root nodules of pea plants, which are essential to the plants' supply of nitrogen, and thus diminish leaf and stem growth. Adult weevils feed on the leaves and create a notched, "c-shaped" appearance on the outside of the leaves. The Cydia nigricana, Pea moth can be a serious pest producing caterpillars the resemble small white maggots in the pea-pods. The caterpillars eat the developing peas making them unsightly and unsuitable for culinary use. Prior to the use of modern insecticides, pea moth caterpillars were a very common sight in pea pods.


Peas in science

In the mid-19th century, Austrian monk Gregor Mendel's observations of pea pods led to the principles of Mendelian genetics, the foundation of modern genetics. He ended up growing and examining about 28,000 pea plants in the course of his experiments. Mendel chose peas for his experiments because he could grow them easily, develop pure-bred strains, protect them from cross-pollination, and control their pollination. Mendel cross-bred tall and dwarf pea plants, green and yellow peas, purple and white flowers, wrinkled and smooth peas, and a few other traits. He then observed the resulting offspring. In each of these cases, one trait is dominant and all the offspring, or Filial-1 (abbreviated F1) generation, showed the dominant trait. Then he crossed members of the F1 generation together and observed their offspring, the Filial-2 (abbreviated F2) generation. The F2 plants had the dominant trait in approximately a 3:1 ratio. Mendel reasoned that each parent had a 'vote' in the appearance of the offspring, and the non-dominant, or Dominance (genetics), recessive, trait appeared only when it was inherited from both parents. He did further experiments that showed each trait is separately inherited. Unwittingly, Mendel had solved a major problem with Charles Darwin's theory of evolution: how new traits were preserved and not blended back into the population, a question Darwin himself did not answer. Mendel's work was published in an obscure Austrian journal and was not rediscovered until about 1900. Recently, extracts from garden pea have shown inhibitory activity on porcine pancreatic lipase in vitro.


Genome

The pea karyotype consists of seven chromosomes, five of which are acrocentric and two submetacentric. Despite its scientific popularity, its relatively large genome size (4.45gigabase, Gb) made it challenging to sequence compared to other legumes such as ''Medicago truncatula'' and soybeans. The International Pea Genome Sequencing Consortium was formed to develop the first pea reference genome, and the draft assembly was officially announced in September 2019. It covers 88% of the genome (3.92Gb) and predicted 44,791 gene-coding sequences. The pea used for the assembly was the inbred French cultivar "Caméor".


Peas in medicine

Some people experience allergic reactions to peas, as well as
lentil The lentil (''Lens culinaris'' or ''Lens esculenta'') is an edible legume A legume () is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, co ...
s, with vicilin or convicilin as the usual allergens. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, Favism, or Fava-bean-ism, is a genetic deficiency of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase that affects Medical genetics of Sephardic Jews, Jews, other Middle Eastern Semitic peoples and other descendants of the Mediterranean coastal regions. In this condition, the toxic reaction to eating most, if not all, beans is hemolytic anemia, and in severe cases the released circulating free hemoglobin causes acute kidney injury.


Nitrogen-fixing ability

Peas, like many legumes, contain symbiosis, symbiotic bacteria called ''Rhizobia'' within root nodules of their root, root systems. These bacteria have the special ability to nitrogen fixation, fix nitrogen from atmospheric, molecular nitrogen (N2) into ammonia (NH3). The chemical reaction is: :N_2 + 8H^+ + 8e^- \to 2NH_3 + H_2 Ammonia is then converted to another form, ammonium (NH4+), usable by (some) plants by the following reaction: :NH_3 + H^+ \to NH_4^+ The root nodules of peas and other legumes are sources of nitrogen that they can use to make amino acids, constituents of proteins. Hence, legumes are good sources of plant protein. When a pea plant dies in the field, for example following the harvest, all of its remaining nitrogen, incorporated into amino acids inside the remaining plant parts, is released back into the soil. In the soil, the amino acids are converted to nitrate (NO3), that is available to other plants, thereby serving as fertilizer for future crops.


Etymology

The term ''pea'' originates from the Latin word ''pisum'', which is the Latinisation (literature), latinisation of the Greek language, Greek πίσον (''pison''), neuter of πίσος (''pisos'') "pea". It was adopted into English language, English as the noun ''pease'' (plural ''peasen''), as in
pease pudding Pease pudding, also known as pease porridge, is a savoury pudding dish made of boiled Boiling is the rapid vaporization of a liquid, which occurs when a liquid is heated to its boiling point, the temperature at which the vapour pressure of the l ...
. However, by analogy with other plurals ending in ''-s'', speakers began construing ''pease'' as a plural and constructing the singular form by dropping the ''-s'', giving the term ''pea''. This process is known as back-formation.


See also

* Black-eyed pea * Black pea * Chickpea * Dixie lee pea * Sweet pea * Cowpea


References


Bibliography

* European Association for Grain Legume Research (AEP). ''Pea''. https://web.archive.org/web/20061017214408/http://www.grainlegumes.com/default.asp?id_biblio=52 . * Hernández Bermejo, J. E. & León, J., (1992). ''Neglected crops: 1492 from a different perspective'', Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO
Contents
* Muehlbauer, F. J. and Tullu, A., (1997). ''Pisum sativum L.'' Purdue University

* Oelke, E. A., Oplinger E. S., et al. (1991). ''Dry Field Pea''. University of Wisconsi


External links




USDA plant profile
* https://web.archive.org/web/20150303184216/http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/ {{Authority control Edible legumes Fabeae Fruit vegetables Plants described in 1753 Plant models Taxa named by Carl Linnaeus