Pea - Pisum sativum

Brief history

Peas were one of the first cultivated food crops and probably originated in central Asia and the Middle East. Until the 16th century peas were always dried to preserve them so that they could be eaten throughout the year. In Tudor times more tender varieties of peas were grown and so fresh peas entered the diet, but only for the rich. Fresh peas were expensive and considered a luxury and Elizabeth I had peas imported from the Netherlands.