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The History of Black Eyed Peas

Fresh from the farm

Rebecca Conley
November 23, 2021 | Rebecca Conley

The History of Black Eyed Peas

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the black eyed pea is a staple in Southern culture and they are FULL of juxtapositions.  

Peas vs Beans

The name would leave you to think that they are in fact a pea, but rather they are scientifically a bean.  Both peas and beans are legumes, and both have edible seeds and pods. Confusing huh?


What's a Cowpea?

The name we commonly read on the seed packets of our beloved black eyed peas is  cowpea.  Does that mean we feed them to cows?  Yes & No.  Cowpea is the actual taxonomic genus in the legume family.  Plants that are classified in this genus thrive well in poor soils with little inputs and are beneficially important in areas with poor resources as they fix nitrogen in the soils. That being said, this class of plants is known to be fed to livestock and humans alike.  

Delicacy or Desperate? 

Black eyed peas and beans alike can be ill received at the dinner table, which is likely due to  misinformation in regards to being livestock food, poor food preparation, and yearly traditions we dreaded in our childhood.  However, at our Farmhouse we believe in honoring traditions and one of our favorites from the south is  black eyed peas on New Year’s Day.  Black Eyed Peas are had on New Year's day for their  mystical and mythical power to bring good luck (which is something we could all use more of).  


Our recommendations of course are our Farmhouse Fresh Black Eyed Peas with one of our two sparkling wine offerings Boyfriend or Revolution.   Our go to is the heralded recipe from Tom and Lisa Perini of Perini Ranch, but if you need to mix it up this year don’t forget about classic dishes like Hoppin’ John, Cowboy Caviar, or Black Eyed Pea Fritters

Whatever you choose, you can’t go wrong when pairing sparkling wines with any of these options.  The saltiness of a broth brine and the starchy and savory nature of the black eyed pea play so well with effervescent wines with just a hint of sweetness.     For our Farmhouse Vineyards wine club members your Q4 Signature Farm Provisions included our Black Eyed Peas, do your part for 2022 and eat up!

For more amazing recipes grab the Perini Ranch Steakhouse Cookbook  or the Perini Ranch Steak Rub our online store!




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