My first taste of field peas was a few months ago at our local Dutch Oven Gathering (DOG) when my good friend Robin made a pot. I will never forget loving every flavor-packed morsel I put into my mouth and thinking to myself, “How in the world have I missed out on this for so long?” I love field peas!!! After learning how to cook them I realized that the reason I love them is that they are very similar to pinto beans. Same texture and flavor, and similar cooking process. The main difference is that pintos have to soak over night before cooking but field peas do not.
Robin told me that field peas are a staple for southern cooking and is a crop that is grown to feed cattle. When Dennis was a youngster, he would pick field peas from the side of the road in east Texas. One time, a neighbor invited him to pick peas after the harvest. He brought in a bushel that he sold to a grateful lady who paid him $5 – a fortune for young Dennis!
Turns out that field peas, which are legumes, come in many different shapes, flavor, texture, and sizes. This article by Southern Living describes several different types of field peas, and shares some helpful tips about buying them fresh, freezing them, and lots of recipes. These legumes are a great source of protein, fiber, and potassium.
I made purple hulled peas for our annual Dutch oven demonstration at Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth on the first weekend in January. They were a huge hit and caught the attention of the Fort Worth Portrait Project. Raul is a very talented photographer and creator of the project’s website and multiple social media platforms. Check out the project’s Twitter feed, Facebook page, YouTube, and Instagram accounts, and you will see Raul’s amazing photos and interesting stories of leadership across Fort Worth. The day after the demo at Log Cabin Village, Raul made field peas and loved them. He inspired me to write this blog post – thank you Raul!!