The modern-day garden pea, from which dried peas are made, is thought to have originated from the field pea that was native to central Asia and Europe. Dried peas have been consumed since prehistoric times with fossilized remains being found at archaeological sites in Swiss lake villages. Peas are mentioned in the Bible and were prized by the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome.
For millennia, dried peas were the main way that people consumed this legume. It was not until the 16th century when cultivation techniques created more tender varieties of garden peas that people began to consume peas in their fresh state as opposed to just eating dried peas. It seems that the Chinese, a culture that had consumed this legume as far back as 2,000 BC, were the first ones to consume both the seeds and the pods as a vegetable. Peas were introduced into United States soon after the colonists first settled in this country.
In the 19th century during the early developments of the study of genetics, peas played an important role. The monk and botanist, Gregor Mendel used peas in his plant breeding experiments.
Today the largest commercial producers of dried peas are Russia, France, China and Denmark. (source World's Healthiest Foods )
4 slices diced Patuxent Brand West Coast Style Bacon
1 Cross Valley Diced Yellow Onion
1 Medium Leeks Sliced
1 Large Carrot Diced
2 Garlic Cloves Minced
2 quarts Chicken Broth
1 ¼ Cup split peas Rinsed
2 Bay Leaf
1 tspn dried Rosemary crumbled
1 tspn Curry powder
Brown bacon, add leeks, onions, and carrots until softened.
Add garlic until it becomes fragrant.
Add broth, split peas, bay leaf, rosemary and curry.
Bring to a boil, turn down to simmer, covered for about an hour. Stirring occasionally until tender, puree if desired
This weekend I pulled the last of my summer garden up and reworked the soil for some winter garden peas and sweet peas that I am going to plant.
The only plant left in this flat is my parsley, that was almost completely covered by my zucchini squash until yesterday.