Black Peas - Gastro Obscura
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Prepared Foods

Black Peas

No Bonfire Night is complete without a cup of this warm, vinegar-flavored snack.

Peas are a staple of the English cuisine, especially in the North. One of the lesser known varieties, black peas (sometimes called parched peas), are unique to Lancashire.

Soaked overnight before being boiled and mashed, the peas have a distinctive dark color and an earthy aroma that may seem unappetizing to those unfamiliar with it. But when sprinkled with salt and malt vinegar, the strong flavor is mitigated and many native Lancastrians feel that autumn wouldn’t be complete without them.

Black peas are also a common sight on Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night. On November 5, Brits celebrate the thwarting of Fawkes’s attempt to assassinate King James I and members of parliament in 1605. By the light of bonfires and burning effigies of Fawkes, celebrants tuck into cups of the warm, savory snack.

Need to Know

The Spruce offers a recipe for making your own black peas.

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