Or, watch out Jolly Green Giant, you’ve got competition!
The first time I had mushy peas was in Dublin, Ireland as a side to a fish and chips dinner. Before I get into the peas, let me tell you something that is very odd and perhaps not quite right about the Irish.
The first time I went in to get fish and chips with my now husband, I’m reading the menu board, trying to decide what to get because it’s not just one kind of fish. Oh no, you’ve got your cod and haddock and pike and perch and some kinds come smoked as well as plain. It’s a little overwhelming, but it’s okay because pretty much everything is good.
But then, after you choose your fish and go to choose the sides they have “beans” on the menu. Beans. So, I ask my husband, “Honey, what kind of beans?”
“What kind of beans?” he says “Beans. Just beans. How many kinds of beans are there?”
Seriously, he said that.
And I’m like, well, there’s butter beans and lima beans and black beans and ranch beans and pinto beans and garbanzo beans and bbq baked beans and Boston baked beans and and beanie weenies and Jaysus, man, what kind of beans?
“Beans in tomato sauce! Why on earth would you have that many kinds of beans?”
“Why on earth would you only have one kind?”
While I admire their way with fried fish, I have to say after that I’ve approached Irish cuisine with a bit of caution. If you can just say “beans” and expect that everyone knows what you’re talking about because you’ve only got one kind, well, I just find it suspicious that’s all, particularly when combined with an overabundance of fish choices.
If you want to learn a heck of a lot about mushy peas , click on this Wikipedia link. If you are an American, you should know that these are not like the mushy sweet or English peas that we have in a can. These are more peas like split peas and black eyed peas are peas.
The food coloring is there because apparently they have a very grey, unappetizing color when cooked. I suppose the manufacturers had the choice between cheerfully artificial and evoking a Dickensian poorhouse and chose to go fake. Can’t blame them really.
When you open the can, it smells a lot like pressure cooked lima beans but looks like pea baby food. My senses were so confused.
The taste? Kind of good if you like starchy and mealy. I do. I like to think of it as kind of like the Northern European version of poi. This might change if I ever try poi. It’s not bad at all, unless you’re one of those picky eater people, in which case you probably wouldn’t have tried it no matter what I said.
If you want to try your own, I found this at a rich-people Kroger in the International food aisle, but you can also order it and other delicacies like spotted dick and haggis flavored chips from Amazon.