Mushy peas

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Mushy peas are dried marrowfat peas which are first soaked overnight in water and then simmered with a little sugar and salt until they form a thick green lumpy soup. They are a traditional British accompaniment to fish and chips and sometimes mint is used as a flavouring. All over Britain, but particularly associated with Northern England they are commonly served as part of the popular snack of pie and peas (akin to the Australian pie floater, but with mushy peas instead of a thick pea soup) and are considered a part of traditional British cuisine. Mushy peas can also be bought in tinned cans. They are also sometimes served in batter as a pea fritter.

Local variants

In Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and parts of Lincolnshire, they are often served as a snack on their own. They are traditionally accompanied by mint sauce, and sold at open-air events such as fairs or fĂȘtes. In Derbyshire, mushy peas served with chips is called a 'pea mix'. Mushy peas are also popular in Scotland served with fish and chips or a wetter version with vinegar in a bowl.

Mushy peas are often playfully referred to as "Yorkshire caviar", more in reference to the stereotype of Yorkshiremen as dour folk who won't spend money on luxuries than through any similarity between the soft green legume dish and sturgeons' roe. The nickname has stuck, though, and been seen as far afield as Bristol.

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