Three's A'loud

Give peas a chance

September 21th is International Day of peace. Such an important day to celebrate. World peace is something we all yearn for but to be honest with you I don’t even think that big – I am just happy if there is some semblance of peace in my own home. Getting 3 kids up, dressed, brushed, bashed and off to school is anything but peaceful. Getting them all home, fed, bathed, swathed and off to dreamland even less so. Which is why you can’t really judge me for having a very Afrikaans-blonde moment and Googling “International day of peas” one evening last week when I started researching this article.
Yes really.
Laugh now and get it over with.

In my defence: it was late, I was exhausted and I was only on my first sip of wine. After my initial face-palm reaction and violently hitting the back arrow a few times I found myself going right back to the scene of the crime and typing in “interesting facts about peas”. What can I say? I’m a foodie. First among the 501 000 results (in 0.49 seconds) was “25 facts about peas” closely followed by “10 things you didn’t know about the garden pea” and then (who would guess) “9 things you didn’t know about peas!”

The magic of Google.

The kids were asleep (mostly) my glass of wine was still full (almost) and so I was inspired to arrange some of my newfound pea knowledge (that looks better in writing than it sounds when you read it out to someone) in all new, easy to refer back to categories, for your reading and learning pleasure.

Pea facts not to teach your kids:

  • The Latin name for the pea is pisum sativum (I would rather not have my 5 year old tell her teacher that. I might just get a letter. Again.)
  • It is believed that peas that are boiled with onions, and spiced with cinnamon, are a powerful aphrodisiac. (You wouldn’t want your kids telling their teacher that either.)

Geographical pea facts (that you could teach your kids but it’s really quite boring):

  • The pea is thought to have originated from Middle Asia.
  • The Romans grew over 37 varieties of peas (Obviously they hadn’t heard of Banting)

Anti-Banting pea facts (because I like rebelling against trends.):

  • Peas are not Banting friendly at all.
  • One serving of peas contains as much as Vitamin C as two large apples, more fibre than a slice of wholemeal bread, and more thiamine than a pint of wholemeal. (Seriously, who would have a pint of wholemeal to get their daily dose of thiamine?!)

Historical pea facts:

  • The oldest pea was found in Thailand. It was 3000 years old! (Wonder if it was frozen or mushy?)
  • Elizabeth I had peas imported as they were very expensive.
  • In 1969, the first television commercial broadcast in colour was for Birds Eye frozen peas.
  • In 1989, there was a television programme about peas that lived in overgrown flowerpots at the bottom of a garden. It was called The Poddington Peas.

The Poddington Peas television programme

Yummy pea facts:

  • Peas can be eaten straight out of the pod.
  • The proper etiquette for eating peas is to squash them on the back of your fork (…but it’s much more fun to throw them in the air and try to catch them with your mouth)

Awesome pea facts:

  • 7175 peas were once eaten in a minute with chopsticks by Janet Harris of Sussex. This was a world record.
  • Bioplastics (renewable plastic) can be made using pea starch (they can use all the peas my kids dropped on the floor when trying to catch them with their mouths)
  • The Black Eyed Peas began as a hip-hop band that tried to keep their music fun without doing Gangsta Rap. They developed a loyal following, but didn’t have big commercial success until they added Fergie and made their songs more radio-friendly.

Gross pea facts:

  • Gregor Johann Mendell used peas in genetic research.
  • Dried peas are used to make mushy peas, which are infamous as a side dish alongside fish and chips.

Pea facts that could be useful to mothers:

  • Peas are said to give relief to ulcer pains in the stomach because they help ‘use up’ stomach acids.
  • The story of The Princess and the Pea was written in the mid to late 1800’s by Hans Christian Andersen.

Utterly useless pea facts:

  • The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams.

Funny pea facts:

  • It is estimated that over 9000 peas are eaten per person, per year in Britain.

And finally:

Pea facts for foodies:

  • Eating peas when they are green became fashionable in the 1600s and 1700s but was described by the French as “madness”. (Gotta love the French)
  • Pea leaves are considered a delicacy in China.

So much information, so little wine. I mean time.

The last page I read contained a link to a related page: “The history of the fish finger”. Kindly excuse me now I still have hours of fascinating reading to do.

Maybe the answer to world peace is to give peas a chance.

This article is in loving memory of Vincent Enslin who left us way too soon.
He once helped us shovel a truckload of peas.
He was also one of the most peaceful people I ever knew.

This article was first published on Master of Quills

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