Australian quest for the perfect mushy peas!
- Credit: Matthew Usher
This is a cheeky, desperate attempt to find out about marrowfat peas at Great Yarmouth...
My friend, who is now 67, came to live in Australia at the age of seven with his parents. Just recently, he has been longing for the delicious, hot peas he used to eat by the seaside. He says that they were bought from little stalls along the beach, and were eaten by hand out of “paper”.
They were not mushy, nor green, but large and intact. He claims they tasted like nothing else, and they were so delicious he couldn’t believe they weren’t available in Australia!
In vain I’ve tried to source dried marrowfat peas in Australia (canned mushy peas from UK only). But in my quest, instead, I’ve discovered that peas come in 1000s of varieties within several main groups. Consequently, marrowfat pea group consists of many varieties.
The plot thickens rather than me thinking I’m after just one “thing”.
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Now for my cheeky question...
Do your readers know if hot, take-away peas are still sold along the beach in Great Yarmouth? If so, do you know if these peas are, indeed, marrowfat peas; and are they sourced from local growers?
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To help me track down what I’m actually looking for, I’d love to know what variety is used for these hot pea stalls. Lastly - apart from water, bicarbonate of soda, salt, pepper and sugar - are there any other additives to this unique and delicious dish eg mint or other?
Even if the little take-away stalls no longer exist, your readers might like to reminisce about how things used to be, and share their stories of childhood at the seaside, or compare their favourite pea recipes.
I hope you can help me in my quest.
Bendigo, Victoria, Australia
For JOHN L ROBINSON
Strathfieldsaye, Victoria; ex Norwich