"A fashion and a madness"
People in Syria and southeastern Turkey seem to have been the first to put peas in their cooking pots. In Central Europe it was not until the Middle Ages that peas gained some relevance for daily alimentation.
Not until the 1600s did it become popular to eat them "green", that is, while they are immature and right after they are picked. This was especially true in France and England, where the eating of green peas was said to be "both a fashion and a madness". King Louis XIV, Le Roi Soleil, was known to be completely mad about "petit pois".
Take Your Pick
There are approximately 250 different breeds of peas in the world. And how many ways to prepare them? Always at least one more undiscovered possibility.
Almost every culture complements its own dishes with peas, and almost every prestigious chef has found his own way to purée, cut, crush, or mash and mix them with almost any other ingredient or spice one can think of.
A tip from one who's tried? Mash peas together with potatoes, add butter, cream, salt using your Braun Multiquick 5 hand blender. Maybe add some pepper and curry, and you'll get hot compliments.
A little tip from the expert
Only about 5% of peas grown are sold fresh. Most peas are either frozen, canned, or dried. Frozen peas are preferable to canned peas as they retain their flavor and have lower sodium content. Smaller peas are more tasty than the big ones which tend to have a more floury flavour.
Give peas a chance
The good news is: Peas are low in fat. The even better news is: Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus. As pulses, they are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre.
An 85 gram serving of peas, cooked, provides 50 calories, 4 grams of protein, 8 grams of carbohydrate (of which 3.5 grams are sugars), 3.8 grams of fibre, 17mg of vitamin C (28% of the recommended daily allowance) and 0.2mg Thiamine (B1).
Relax and enjoy - in peas there's nothing to regret (well, depends a little on what you mix it with).