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Pease pudding

Pease pudding
Pease pudding with olive oil drizzled on top
Alternative names Pease pottage, pease porridge
Type Pudding
Place of origin Britain
Main ingredients Split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt, spices
16x16px Cookbook:Pease pudding  16x16px Pease pudding

Pease pudding, sometimes known as pease pottage or pease porridge, is a British term for a savoury pudding dish made of boiled legumes,[1] which mainly consists of split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt, and spices, often cooked with a bacon or ham joint. It is commonly eaten throughout the whole of the North East of England, some parts of the Midlands and a few places in the South; to a lesser extent in the rest of the United Kingdom and in Newfoundland, Canada.[2] (In Middle English, "Pease" was treated as a mass noun, similar to "oatmeal", and the singular "pea" and plural "peas" arose by back-formation.)


Pease pudding is typically thick,[3][4] somewhat similar in texture to hummus, and is light yellow in colour, with a mild taste. Pease pudding was traditionally produced in England, especially in the industrial North Eastern areas. It is often served with ham or bacon and stottie cakes. It is also a key ingredient in the classic saveloy dip which consists of a bread roll spread with pease pudding on one half, sage and onion stuffing on the other with a slight smear of mustard and a saveloy sausage cut in half and then dipped gently into either the stock the saveloys are boiled in or gravy, only the top half is usually dipped as not to make it difficult to hold or eat. In Southern England it is usually served with faggots. Also in Southern England is the small village of Pease Pottage which, according to tradition, gets its name from serving pease pottage to convicts either on their way from London to the South Coast or from East Grinstead to Horsham.

Peasemeal brose, also known as brosemeal, is a traditional breakfast dish in the North of Scotland. The best in Britain is supposed to come from Golspie Mill in Sutherland where it is still ground with stone mills powered by the 'Big Burn'. In Scotland it is made in the traditional way and usually eaten with butter, and salt or honey. In parts of the Midlands it replaces mushy peas and is eaten with fish and chips and is thought to be the original side order only later replaced with mushy peas due to a lack of knowledge or availability of the dish.


Main article: Pea § Etymology

The name pease porridge is derived from the archaic noun pease (plural peasen), derived in turn from the Latin word pisum.

Regional variations

The dish is a traditional part of Jiggs dinner in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

In German-speaking countries, pease pudding is known under the name Erbspüree. Alternative regional names are Erbsbrei or Erbsmus. It is especially widespread in the traditional cuisine of the German capital Berlin. The best-known German dish which is traditionally served with pease pudding is Eisbein.

In Beijing cuisine, Wandouhuang (豌豆黄) is a sweetened and chilled pease pudding made with yellow split peas or shelled mung beans, sometimes flavoured with sweet osmanthus blossoms and dates. A refined version of this snack is said to have been a favourite of Empress Dowager Cixi.

In Greek cuisine, a similar dish is called Fava (Φάβα). Despite the name, it is usually made from yellow split peas, not Fava beans. The mashed peas are usually drizzled with olive oil and topped with chopped raw onions.[5]


Generally recipes for pease pudding involve steeping soaked split yellow peas in stock (traditionally ham hock stock) and cooking them for around 40 minutes. The resulting mush is then blended with other ingredients, which depend on the variation. The oldest known written recipe for something similar to pease pudding involves saffron, nutmeg and a little cinnamon in the blending process; modern recipes sometimes beat in an egg at this point to act as an extra binding agent.

In popular culture

Pease pudding is featured in a nursery rhyme, Pease Porridge Hot.[6][7]

In the Horatio Hornblower TV movie The Fire Ships, the hungry crewmen, displeased with being put on half-rations, sing a song which includes the verse "Biscuits: one; pease pudding: none; and salt beef: only half."[8]

Pease pudding is featured in the musical Oliver! in the song "Food, Glorious Food" as being one of those foods the children would aspire to be able to eat, instead of eating the gruel they're offered every day.

Pease pudding is also featured in the internet flash animation Salad Fingers in Episode 5 - "Picnic" Salad Fingers feeds Mable Peas Pudding and recites a rhyme "peas pudding hot, peas pudding cold, peas pudding in the pot, nine days old!"

See also