Marrowfat peas

Marrowfat peas are green mature peas (Pisum sativum L.[1] or Pisum sativum var. medullare[2]) that have been allowed to dry out naturally in the field, rather than being harvested while still young like the normal garden pea. They are starchy, and are used to make mushy peas.[3][4] Marrowfat peas with a good green colour are exported from the UK to Japan for the snack food market,[1] while paler peas are used for canning. Those with thin skins and a soft texture are ideal for making mushy peas.

Canned marrowfat or "processed" peas are reconstituted from dried peas. These are soaked in cold water for 12 to 16 hours, sometimes with sodium bicarbonate added to aid softening. The peas are then blanched for 5 minutes and then canned in a brine containing sugar, salt and food colouring, before the cans are heat processed at 115 °Celsius.[5]

The name 'marrowfat' is believed to have been coined around 1730 as a portmanteau of marrow and fat,[6][7] although some claim the peas were named because people wanted plump (fat) peas of the Maro variety, a Japanese variety introduced to the UK in the early 20th century.[8][9]

See also


  1. ^ a b Savage, Geoffrey P; Savage, Grace E; Russell, Adrian C; Koolaard, John P (2001). "Search for predictors of cooking quality of marrowfat pea (Pisum sativum L) cultivars". Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. 81 (8): 701–705. doi:10.1002/jsfa.860. ISSN 0022-5142.
  2. ^ Weaver, William Woys (2018). Heirloom vegetable gardening : a master gardener's guide to planting, seed saving, and cultural history (Updated ed.). Minneapolis, MN: Voyageur Press. p. 280. ISBN 978-0-7603-6331-7. OCLC 1029761627.
  3. ^ Prince, Rose (23 April 2005). "Savvy shopper: peas". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  4. ^ The Garden Pea Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  5. ^ Ranken, M.D.; Kill, R.C., eds. (1993). Food Industries Manual. New York: Springer Sciece + Business Media LLC. p. 150. ISBN 978-1461358732.
  6. ^, "Marrowfat" Retrieved 14 April 2012.
  7. ^ Marrowfat - entry in The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives 1733 Philip MILLER The Gardeners Dictionary (second edition) Pisus - The Marrowfat or Dutch Admiral Pea
  8. ^ "Askew & Barrett - Marrowfat Peas". Retrieved 2018-09-09.
  9. ^ "Pea Seeds - Maro at Suttons Seeds". Retrieved 2018-09-09.