What are white acre peas anyway?

Photo borrowed from the Houston Press Food Blog

White acre peas, which are actually beans, belong to a large legume family also known as “cowpeas”, “southern peas”, or “field peas”.  White acre peas, specifically, are also called lady peas, cream peas, or lady cream peas and are mostly grown and sold in the south. They are named for the color land on which they grow, just like the related varieties of black acre and green acre peas.  For more information on field peas, see Peas, please.

White acre peas are smaller and more tender than black eyed peas. They are a traditional southern side often cooked with bacon and butter and served along side the likes of collard greens, okra, and cornbread.

There are several ways to cook white acre peas.  Blanching preserves the nutrients and color of the peas.  To blanch, put the peas in a pot of boiling salt water for about 2 – 3 minutes.  Plunge the peas into a bowl of ice cold water for 3 minutes before draining and drying.

The following is a white acre pea recipe from a local restaurant, Mildred’s Big City Food

SMOKED SAUSAGE WITH WHITE ACRE PEAS

INGREDIENTS
1 cup White Acre peas, cooked
3 links sausage, sliced
1 small spanish onion, julienned
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp olive or canola oil
salt pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Over medium heat cook the onion in the olive oil until tender.
Add the sausage and cook until done.
Add the peas and cook for two additional minutes.
Add the tomates and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve when tomatoes are thoroughly warmed.
More white acre pea recipes:
Slow-Cooker Pork Chops and Field Peas
Heirloom Tomato Salad With Fresh Lady Peas
Traditional New Year’s Southern Peas
Lady Pea Soup
Marinated Black-Eyed Peas aka Texas Caviar (try with white acre peas)

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