Mushy peas are the food of the Gods. They are an underestimated vitamin-packed accompaniment to any meal. Sometimes known as Yorkshire caviar they are popular across the country, especially with a fish and chip supper. I do believe it is in Hartlepool where Peter Mandelson mistook them for the inferior dish of guacamole.
When I cook I always consider how I can add half a tin of mushy peas to the plate. I do, admittedly, prefer them cold from the tin but one can warm them if one insists.
Peas are low in fat, a good source of fibre and high in protein. Even Madonna claims to like them so they must be really healthy.
Here I consider the best tins of mushy peas available to people on a limited income from Jobseekers’ Allowance in a Mushy Pea Top Five:
5. Asda Smart Price: The colour of these peas is too light, with a soup-like consistency and a claggy, no-need-to-chew texture. Much salt and vinegar is needed to bring out any real taste. Cheap, though.17p
4. Lifestyle: Not dissimilar to Asda’s own brand but with a deeper colour and slightly firmer texture. Though, perhaps, not so much better as to justify being 22p more expensive. 39p
1. Harry Ramsden’s: The king of the mushy pea. Firm consistency, strong, dark colour, the texture gives you something to chew, with a definite feel of whole pea. They taste very much of peas. I would say these peas can be eaten directly from the tin without any shame. The most expensive, though, at 41p
One can add mint to one’s peas to give them a little kick, or make a pea fritter by coating your mushy peas in breadcrumb. One could even follow Heston Blumethal’s recipe and add “de-ionized car-battery water” when cooking your mushy peas from scratch.
I’ll stick to eating them straight from the tin with a spoon.
Wish me luck again. Back next week.