About Field Peas
Popular in Southern and soul food cuisine, field peas are actually beans, not peas. Along with crowder peas, cream peas, and blackeye peas, field peas are also called “cowpeas” or “Southern peas.” They are commonly cooked with pork and seasoned with garlic, salt, and dried garden herbs.
The Field Pea Story
Field peas, crowder peas, cream peas (along with blackeye peas) are all part of a larger species of beans commonly called “cowpeas” or “Southern peas.” Despite their names, none of these varieties is actually a pea. These beans were brought to the New World from Africa and became part of the Southern diet beginning in the 1600s. Cowpeas are commonly grown in the South since they are adaptable, heat-tolerant, and drought-resistant.
Field peas are similar in flavor and texture to blackeye peas and are ideal for soul food dishes. The crowder pea variety gets its name from the way its peas crowd themselves in the pod. It has a rich, hearty flavor and creates a dark pot liquor when cooked. Lady Creams are a type of cowpea that has no color and, when cooked, they yield a clear pot liquor. They have a sweet flavor and creamy texture and are featured in Southern dishes. These cowpea varieties are delicious when cooked with smoked pork (such as tasso), onions, and garlic sauteed in butter, and dried garden herbs or Camellia Brand’s Dry Herb Blend.