Pea - Pisum sativum

Use in medieval times

The monks at Lewes Priory would regularly eat dishes made from dried split peas. During Lent they were only allowed to eat plain, simple food (no meat or fish) and peas provided a good source of protein during this time.

Pease pudding (or pottage) made from dried, split peas was eaten by everyone as it was a filling, relatively cheap dish to make in times before the arrival of the potato. Wealthier people would eat it with meat (usually ham or gammon) and flavour it with expensive spices. They could also afford to indulge in eating “peas on a spit” – a mixture of peas and eggs, seasoned, fried and then roasted.