Peas are a staple of the English cuisine, especially in the North. One of the lesser known varieties, black peas (sometimes called parched peas), are unique to Lancashire.
Soaked overnight before being boiled and mashed, the peas have a distinctive dark color and an earthy aroma that may seem unappetizing to those unfamiliar with it. But when sprinkled with salt and malt vinegar, the strong flavor is mitigated and many native Lancastrians feel that autumn wouldn’t be complete without them.
Black peas are also a common sight on Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Bonfire Night. On November 5, Brits celebrate the thwarting of Fawkes’s attempt to assassinate King James I and members of parliament in 1605. By the light of bonfires and burning effigies of Fawkes, celebrants tuck into cups of the warm, savory snack.
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Where to Try It
Along with many other traditional Northern foods, Bury Market sells black peas, both prepackaged and cooked, at many of its stalls.
Manchester Christmas MarketAlbert Square, Manchester, M2 6LW, United Kingdom
The market is open only from mid November to December and a few stalls sell cups of black peas. It's a little pricey at about £3.00 for a small cup.