High in protein, discover the health benefits of peas, a familiar French expression using them and links to easy pea recipes.
Random Facts About Peas
- Brief History: One of the most ancient of vegetables consumed in Asia and Europe as a dried vegetable (chickpea and split pea. It wasn't until the 17th century that fresh peas were consumed, especially in Europe. King Louis XIV adored peas, and ensured his botanist, La Quintinie grew them at the Potager du Roi in Versailles;
- In France under Louis XVI, war minister, the Count Saint Germain adored fresh peas from Poissy (Yvelines, west of Paris) and so French recipes called 'Saint Germain' contain fresh peas - see recipe for pea soup, Potage Saint Germain;
- Although categorised under vegetables, like the tomato, the pea is botanically a fruit as it contains seeds and is grown from a flower;
- Are peas high in protein? They are indeed. According to Aprifel, fresh peas are also rich in fibre, vitamin B9, manganese and phosphorus;
- Slightly sweet tasting. Delicious served raw, straight from the pod and in salads.
- To cook them best to retain their vitamins, steam for just a couple of minutes. Add to sauces, rice, pasta; soups for a healthy last-minute touch;
- Storage: fresh pea pods are best kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Fresh Pea Season
April - July.
Fun French Expression with Peas
"Il a un petit pois dans la tête"
Familiar/colloquial expression meaning he's a bit of an idiot (literally translated as having a pea in the head). Although please don't use in good company!
Fresh peas eaten raw as a healthy apéritif
Easy Pea Recipes
Although not noted as a main ingredient in many recipes here on le blog, add it to stews in the last few minutes of cooking. It's a great way to make the most of them fresh when in season.