|Peas are contained within a pod|
|Pea plant: Pisum sativum|
A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the legume Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Although it is botanically a fruit, it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. The name is also used to describe other edible seeds from the Fabaceae such as the pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan), the cowpea (Vigna unguiculata), and the seeds from several species of Lathyrus.
P. sativum is an annual plant, with a life cycle of one year. It is a cool season crop grown in many parts of the world; planting can take place from winter through to early summer depending on location. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams. The species is used as a vegetable, fresh, frozen or canned, and is also grown to produce dry peas like the split pea. These varieties are typically called field peas.
The wild pea is restricted to the Mediterranean basin and the Near East. The earliest archaeological finds of peas come from Neolithic Syria, Turkey and Jordan. In Egypt, early finds date from ca. 4800–4400 BC in the Nile delta area, and from ca. 3800–3600 BC in Upper Egypt. The pea was also present in Georgia in the 5th millennium BC. Farther east, the finds are younger. Peas were present in Afghanistan ca. 2000 BC, in Harappa, Pakistan, and in northwest India in 2250–1750 BC. In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC this pulse crop appears in the Gangetic basin and southern India.
The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, widely grown as a cool season vegetable crop. The seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches 10 °C (50 °F), with the plants growing best at temperatures of 13 to 18 °C (55 to 64 °F). They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates but do grow well in cooler high altitude tropical areas. Many cultivars reach maturity about 60 days after planting. Generally, peas are to be grown outdoors during the winter, not in greenhouses. Peas grow best in slightly acidic, well-drained soils.
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||339 kJ (81 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||5.1 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||38 μg (4%)|
|- beta-carotene||449 μg (4%)|
|- lutein and zeaxanthin||2593 μg|
|Thiamine (Vit. B1)||0.3 mg (23%)|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2)||0.1 mg (7%)|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||2.1 mg (14%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.1 mg (2%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg (15%)|
|Folate (Vit. B9)||65 μg (16%)|
|Vitamin C||40.0 mg (67%)|
|Calcium||25.0 mg (3%)|
|Iron||1.5 mg (12%)|
|Magnesium||33.0 mg (9%)|
|Phosphorus||108 mg (15%)|
|Potassium||244 mg (5%)|
|Zinc||1.2 mg (12%)|
|Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database
Peas have both low-growing and vining cultivars. The vining cultivars grow thin tendrils from leaves that coil around any available support and can climb to be 1–2 m high. A traditional approach to supporting climbing peas is to thrust branches pruned from trees or other woody plants upright into the soil, providing a lattice for the peas to climb. Branches used in this fashion are sometimes called pea brush. Metal fences, twine, or netting supported by a frame are used for the same purpose. In dense plantings, peas give each other some measure of mutual support. Pea plants can self-pollinate.
There are many varieties of garden pea. Some of the most common include the following:
Other variations of P. sativum include:
Both of these are eaten whole before the pod reaches maturity and are hence also known as mange-tout, French for "eat all". The snow pea pod is eaten flat, while in sugar/snap peas, the pod becomes cylindrical but is eaten while still crisp, before the seeds inside develop.
The pea leaf weevil (Latin: Sitona lineatus) is an insect that damages peas and other legumes. It is native to Europe, but has spread to other places such as Alberta, Canada. They are about 3.5 millimetres (0.14 in)—5.5 millimetres (0.22 in) long and are distinguishable by three light-coloured stripes running length-wise down the thorax. The weevil larvae feed on the root nodules of pea plants, which are essential to the plant's supply of nitrogen, and thus diminish leaf and stem growth. Adult weevils feed on the leaves and create a notched "c-shaped" appearance on the outside of the leaves.
In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. In modern times, however, peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bio-available. Along with broad beans and lentils, these formed an important part of the diet of most people in Europe during the Middle Ages. By the 1600s and 1700s it had become popular to eat peas "green", that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. This was especially true in France and England, where the eating of green peas was said to be "both a fashion and a madness". New cultivars of peas were developed by the English during this time which became known as garden peas and English peas. The popularity of green peas spread to North America. Thomas Jefferson grew more than 30 cultivars of peas on his estate. With the invention of canning and freezing of foods, green peas became available year-round, and not just in the spring as before.
Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt and pepper are also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mange tout and sugar peas, or the flatter "snow peas," called hé lán dòu, 荷兰豆 in Chinese) are used in stir-fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine. Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest.
In India, fresh peas are used in various dishes such as aloo matar (curried potatoes with peas) or matar paneer (paneer cheese with peas), though they can be substituted with frozen peas as well. Peas are also eaten raw, as they are sweet when fresh off the bush. Split peas are also used to make dhal, particularly in Guyana, and Trinidad, where there is a significant population of Indians.
Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan, China, Taiwan and some Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Malaysia, the peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks. In the UK, dried yellow split peas are used to make pease pudding (or "pease porridge"), a traditional dish. In North America, a similarly traditional dish is split pea soup.
Pea soup is eaten in many other parts of the world, including northern Europe, parts of middle Europe, Russia, Iran, Iraq and India. In Sweden it is called ärtsoppa, and is eaten as a traditional Swedish food which predates the Viking era. This food was made from a fast-growing pea that would mature in a short growing season. Ärtsoppa was especially popular among the many poor who traditionally only had one pot and everything was cooked together for a dinner using a tripod to hold the pot over the fire.
In Chinese cuisine, pea sprouts (豆苗; dòu miáo) are commonly used in stir-fries. Pea leaves are often considered a delicacy as well.
In the United Kingdom, dried, rehydrated and mashed marrowfat peas, known by the public as mushy peas, are popular, originally in the north of England but now ubiquitously, and especially as an accompaniment to fish and chips or meat pies, particularly in fish and chip shops. Sodium bicarbonate is sometimes added to soften the peas. In 2005, a poll of 2,000 people revealed the pea to be Britain's 7th favorite culinary vegetable.
Processed peas are mature peas which have been dried, soaked and then heat treated (processed) to prevent spoilage—in the same manner as pasteurising. Cooked peas are sometimes sold dried and coated with wasabi, salt, or other spices.
According to etymologists, the term pea was taken from the Latin pisum and adopted into English as the noun pease (plural peasen), as in pease pudding. However, by analogy with other plurals ending in -s, speakers began construing pease as a plural and constructing the singular form by dropping the "s", giving the term "pea". This process is known as back-formation.
The name marrowfat pea for mature dried peas is recorded by the OED as early as 1733. The fact that an export cultivar popular in Japan is called Maro has led some people to assume mistakenly that the English name marrowfat is derived from Japanese.
PEA (Pisum), a genus of the order Leguminosae, consisting of herbs with compound pinnate leaves ending in tendrils, by means of which the weak stems are enabled to support themselves, and with large leafy stipules at the base. The flowers (fig. I) are typically "papilionaceous," with a "standard" or large petal above, two side petals or wings, and two front petals below forming the keel. The stamens are ten - nine united, the tenth usually free or only slightly joined to the others.
This separation allows approach to the honey which is secreted at the base of the staminal tube. The ovary is prolonged into a long, thick, bent style, compressed from side to side at the tip and fringed with hairs. The fruit is a characteristic "legume" or pod (fig. 2), bursting when ripe into halves, which bear the large globular seeds (peas) on their edges. These seeds are on short stalks, the upper exFIG. I. - Flower of Pea. tremity of which is dilated into a s, Calyx. shallow cup (aril); the two seed-leaves st, Standard. P () a, Alae, or wings. (cotyledons) are thick and fleshy, with car, Carina, or Keel. a radicle bent along their edges on one side. The genus is exceedingly close to Lathyrus, being only distinguished technically by the style, which in the latter genus is compressed from above downwards and not thick. It is not surprising, therefore, that under the general name "pea" species both of Pisum and of Lathyrus are included. The common field pea with tan-coloured or compressed mottled seeds and two to four leaflets is Pisum arvense, which is cultivated in all temperate parts of the globe, but which, according to the Italian botanists, is truly a native of central and southern Italy: it has purple flowers. The garden pea, P. sativum, which has white flowers, is more tender than the preceding, and its origin is not known. It has not been found in a wild state anywhere, and it is considered that it may be a form of P. arvense, having, however, from four to six leaflets to each leaf and globular seeds of uniform colour.
P. sativum was known to Theophrastus; and De Candolle (Origin of Cultivated Plants, p. 329) points out that the word "pison" or its equivalent occurs in the Albanian tongue as well as in Latin, whence he concludes that the pea was known to the Aryans, and was perhaps brought by them into Greece and Italy. Peas have been found in the Swiss lake-dwellings of the bronze period. The garden peas differ considerably in size, shape of pod, degree of productiveness, form and colour of seed, &c. The sugar peas are those in which the inner lining of the pod is very thin instead of being somewhat horny, so that the whole pod can be eaten. Unlike most papilionaceous plants, peaflowers are perfectly fertile without the aid of insects, and thus do not intercross so freely as most similar plants do. On the other hand, a case is known wherein the pollen from a purplepodded pea applied to the stigma of one of the green-podded sugar peas produced a purple pod, showing that not only the ovule but even the ovary was affected by the cross. The numerous varieties of peas in cultivation have been obtained by cross-fertilization, but chiefly by selection. Peas constitute a highly nutritious article of diet from the large quantity of nitrogenous materials they contain in addition to starchy and saccharine matters.
The sweet pea, cultivated for the beauty and fragrance of its flowers, is a species of the allied genus Lathyrus (L. odoratus), a native of southern Europe. The chick pea (q.v.) (Cicer arietinum), not cultivated in England, is still farther removed from the true peas. The everlasting pea of gardens is a species of Lathyrus (L. latifolius) with very deep fleshy roots, bold foliage, and beautiful but scentless flowers; the field pea (Pisum arvense) is better adapted than the bean to light soils, and is best cultivated in rows of such a width as to admit of horse-hoeing. The early stage at which the plants fall over, and forbid further culture, renders it even more needful than in the case of beans to sow them only on land already clean. If annual weeds can be kept in check until the peas once get a close cover, they then occupy the ground so completely that nothing else can live under them; and the ground, after their removal, is found in the choicest condition. A thin crop of peas should never be allowed to stand, as the land is sure to get perfectly wild. The difficulty of getting this crop well harvested renders it peculiarly advisable to sow only the early varieties.
The pea prefers a friable calcareous loam, deeply worked, and well enriched with good hotbed or farm-yard manure. The early crops require a warm sheltered situation, but the later are better grown 6 or 8 ft. apart, or more, in the open quarters, dwarf crops being introduced between the rows. The dwarf or early sorts may be sown 3 or 4 ft. apart. The deep working of the soil is of importance, lest the plants should suffer in hot dry weather from mildew or arrest of growth. The first sowing may be made about the beginning or middle of November, in front of a south wall, the plants being defended by spruce fir branches or other spray throughout the winter. In February sowings are sometimes made in private gardens, in flowerpots or boxes, and the young plants afterwards planted out. The main crop should be sown towards the end of February, and moderate sowings should be made twice a month afterwards, up to the beginning of July for the north, and about the third week in July for warmer districts. During dry hot weather late peas derive great benefit from mulching and watering. The latest sowings, at the middle or end of August, should consist of the best early sorts, as they are not so long in producing pods as the larger and finer sorts, and by this means the supply may be prolonged till October or November. As they grow the earth is drawn up to the stems, which are also supported by sfakes, a practice which in a well-kept garden is always advisable, although it is said that the early varieties arrive sooner at maturity when recumbent.
Peas grown late in autumn are subject to mildew, to obviate which it has been proposed to dig over the ground in the usual way, and to soak the spaces to be occupied by the rows of peas thoroughly with water - the earth on each side to be then collected so as to form ridges 7 or 8 in. high, these ridges being well watered, and the seed sown on them in single rows. If dry weather at any time set in, water should be supplied profusely once a week.
To produce very early crops the French market-gardeners used to sow early in November, in frames, on a border having a good aspect, the seeds being covered very slightly. The young plants are transplanted into other frames in December, the ground inside being dug out so as to be 18 or 20 in. below the sashes, and the earth thus removed placed against the outside of the frames. The young plants, when 3 or 4 in. high, are planted in patches of three or four, 8 in. asunder, in four longitudinal rows. The sashes are covered at night with straw mats, and opened whenever the weather is sufficiently mild. When 8 or io in. high the stems are inclined towards the back of the frame, a little earth being drawn to their base, and when the plants come into blossom the tops are pinched out above the third or fourth flower to force them into bearing. As soon as they begin to pod, the soil may have a gentle watering, whenever sufficiently warmed by the sun, but a too vigorous growth at an earlier period would be detrimental. Thus treated the plants bear pods fit for gathering in the first fortnight in April.
A very convenient means of obtaining an early crop is to sow in 5-in. pots, a few seeds in each, the plants to be ultimately planted out on a warm border. Peas may also be obtained early if gently forced in frames, in the same way as kidney beans, the dwarfest varieties being preferable.
For the very early peas the rows should range east and west, but for the main crops north and south. The average depth of the drills should be about 2 in. for small sorts, and a trifle more for the larger kinds. The drills should be made wide and flat at bottom so that the seeds may be better separated in sowing. The large sorts are the better for being sown 3 in. apart. Chopped furze may be advantageously scattered in the drill before covering in, to check the depredations of mice, and before levelling the surface the soil should be gently trodden down over the seeds.
Veitch's Perfection; Ne Plus Ultra, the finest of all late peas, but a little delicate in cold wet soils and seasons; British Queen; Champion of England; Duke of Albany.
pea (plural peas)
pea (infinitive: peer)
|File:NCI peas in|
|Peas are contained within a pod|
| Pisum sativum|
P. sativum is an annual plant. It is a cool season crop, planted in winter. The average pea weighs between 0.1 and 0.36 grams. The species is as a fresh vegetable, but is also grown to produce dry peas like the split pea. These varieties are typically called field peas.
P. sativum has been cultivated for thousands of years, the sites of cultivation have been described in southern Syria and southeastern Turkey, and some argue that the cultivation of peas with wheat and barley seems to be associated with the spread of Neolithic agriculture into Europe.
It is a cool-season vegetable crop. The seeds may be planted as soon as the soil temperature reaches 10 °C, with the plants growing best at temperatures of 13 °C to 18 °C. They do not thrive in the summer heat of warmer temperate and lowland tropical climates, but do grow well in cooler high altitude tropical areas. Peas grow best in slightly acid, well-drained soils.
Several varieties of P. sativum have been bred. Widely cultivated examples include:
Fresh peas are often eaten boiled and flavored with butter and/or spearmint as a side dish vegetable. Salt is also commonly added to peas when served. Fresh peas are also used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Pod peas (particularly sweet cultivars called mangetout and sugar peas, or the flatter "snow peas," called hé lán dòu, in Chinese) are used in stir fried dishes, particularly those in American Chinese cuisine. Pea pods do not keep well once picked, and if not used quickly are best preserved by drying, canning or freezing within a few hours of harvest. s]]
Dried peas are often made into a soup or simply eaten on their own. In Japan and other Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Taiwan and Malaysia, the peas are roasted and salted, and eaten as snacks. In the UK, marrowfat peas are used to make pease pudding (or "pease porridge"), a traditional dish. In North America a similarly traditional dish is split pea soup.
In Chinese cuisine, pea sprouts (豆苗 dòu miáo) are commonly used in stir-fries and its price is relatively high due to its agreeable taste.
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