Kids Corner


Zen and the Art of Green Pea Shelling




There are peas, and then there are peas in the pod.

The first come out of the freezer or cans, the second come straight out of their pods and into my mouth, until a family member reminds me to save some for the meal.

There are few things more relaxing  - or delicious - than sitting in the backyard, with a glass of something cold, shelling peas on a warm summer night.

I love the slightly bitter, slightly nutty taste and crunch of a raw pea. I think we should set them out in little bowls with aperitifs as a locavore substitute for olives. But I am told this opinion is not universal.

Whether you like them raw or not, shelling peas is noble work (as is husking corn, soon also to be in high season).

If you're alone, working with your hands can bring on a profound zen connection to your food.

If you're with others (especially kids), sharing the task creates a bond and sense of belonging along with the meal. When food nerds argue that flash frozen peas are actually fresher than peas in the pod picked a few days before, I think they miss the point:

In dining, as with most things in life, context is everything.

Shelling peas just makes them taste better.


[Courtesy: National Post]

August 6, 2010

Conversation about this article

1: Harnam Singh (Anandpur Sahib, Punjab), August 06, 2010, 2:57 PM.

So true. But you know ... while the West is just discovering the zen in hand-prepared foods, we've been doing it all along here in Punjab. Green peas, of course ... and harrey chholey, naizzey (pine-nuts), mung-phallee (peanuts) ... and so on! Happy shelling!

2: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), August 06, 2010, 5:58 PM.

If you are too lazy to shell, then you are in trouble. There are people to cheat and con you. There are now fake greens peas which are prepared from toxic chemicals (dyes). These industries preparing the green peas form brown peas (cheaper) by soaking them in dye solution overnight. Hope this doesn't make you green with envy as a profitable prospect.

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