There’s been some lively discussion among the Baltimore Food Bloggers recently about peas. Not just any peas. Fresh picked peas. From the Farmers Market. To quote Noel of 990 Square, “And if you have never had peas from the pealady – you simply don’t know what you’re missing. These are the best peas ever. And they never fail to disappoint. These peas are to pea-experiences what the chicken I had in Florence was to eating poultry. A revelation. Am I exaggerating? Check out the line they garner every Sunday – it’s bigger than the Zeke’s line….. and doesn’t really die down until the peas are gone. People ask – why’s the line so long? And you know they have never had these peas. Because if they had, they’d be in line and not asking stupid questions. The line’s long; it’s because it’s good.”
And I must say, now that I’ve sampled what the peafolks sell, I never knew what a pea could be. I never imagined that peas could be so fresh, so vibrant, or so different from what I get out of the freezer case at the grocery store. I’m not knocking frozen peas. They are a staple in my freezer. But unless you’ve ever had fresh peas, you don’t realize that God doesn’t make mushy peas. Fresh from the pod, they are firm, almost crisp. I ate them by the handful like they were snacks. I added them to salads. I introduced them to beet greens, sliced radishes, and butter in a skillet for a quick saute.
Sadly, I’ve made this discovery late in pea season. The peafolks had a sign saying that fresh peas would probably only be available for one more week. Mon Dieu. So now I’ve got to make sure that I get back to the market for the last of this year’s crop.
What treasures have you discovered at the Farmers Market?