Black-Eyed Pea (Vigna unguiculata) - This delicious memeber of the cowpea family is actually a bean, not a pea
- Fresh peas are enveloped in lean, green and black mottled pods that can grow up to two feet long. The “eye” is created at the exact point where the bean attaches to the pod.
- This heat-loving crop should be sown after all danger of frost has passed and the soil is warm.
- Peas are green when freshly shelled and brown or buff when dried. When cooked, they have a distinct nutty, earthy and savory flavor.
- George Washington Carver promoted planting of the crop because, as a legume, it adds nitrogen to the soil and has high nutritional value.
- Hoppin’ John is a traditional southern soul food dish made from black-eyed peas, rice and pork. The first written recipe appeared in The Carolina Housewife in 1874.
- In the southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is thought to bring prosperity for the coming year. Often served with cornbread and greens, such as turnip or collards