Manchester Caviar: All Hail to Mushy Peas

Mushy peas
Mush!

Our recent fish & chips homage drew in billions of views. So, we’re here today to educate you all about peas. Specifically, the variety that you mush up.

What are mushy peas?

They’re dried marrowfat peas that you soak overnight in water with baking soda. You then boil them for a bit and do some mushing!

You know, like mashed potatoes and all that. It’s often a side dish to go with hearty fish & chips, the greatest English tradition of them all.

And in the city we call home, they go by the name of Manchester Caviar. So, yeah, mushy peas are popular up north (oop norf) in the North West regions. Lancashire, that is. Plus, Yorkshire (more off to the right off us superior Mancs).

It’s a comfort food, yeah, as most Northerners are averse to vegetables. But this one is acceptable. Just because it’s now a deeply ingrained tradition.

Mushy Peas & The National Divide

Of course, the famous old north/south divide in England never lets up. And Londoners and whatnot tend to sneer down at mushy peas.

And why? As they’re for the commoner! The dastardly lazy working classes who like to engage in football riots and whatnot.

As comedian Peter Kay notes there, it can get a bit confrontational as a result.

Us English are so proud of our comfort food traditions, you could imagine a civil war breaking out in the name of mushy peas.

Generally, the “hard north” here is thought of as rough and ready. Where the poor people live. And much of that is kind of true, as George Orwell’s The Road to Wigan Pier highlighted.

But then his Down and Out in Paris and London also indicated just how down and out many Londoners were ages back.

The reality is down south there’s, for some reason, a bit of antipathy about certain northern practices. Specifically, the obsession with traditional comfort foods.

Fish & chips, mushy peas, pies, Lancashire hot pot etc.

As with baked beans or Marmite, you can even get the stuff readymade from a tin. But the thing is…

Mushy peas are actually bloody tasty. Very nice and satisfying! They complement many dishes rather nicely indeed.

They’re usually served in a little ramekin next to the chippy dinner. Enough to warm the bloody cockles of your heart, eh?

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