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The disappointment of the asparagus peas

Photo: Asparagus peas

Photo: Asparagus peas

Initially it was the picture on the pack of the pretty pods that attracted me and when I read about flavour of these peas I was seduced.

They took ages to germinate and flower but finally three pods appeared. I rushed back to the kitchen to steam the delicacy. The pods were of varying sizes, from an inch down to half an inch.

They were vile and tasteless with a nasty scratchy texture. Danny refused to even sample one.
“Why are you trying to force me if they are so unpleasant?”
He had a point, I suppose.

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  1. Rhizowen

    The main problem with the asparagus pea is that the yield is small, and the pods become tough very quickly. This is, effectively, a wild food and as such has not undergone any meaningful selection for pod size and tenderness. As such , it can hardly stand comparison with vegetables which have undergone hundreds of years of improvement.

    It’s possible that the harvesting processes of the seed companies or their contract growers may have exacerbated the tendency for quick maturity and tough pods. I don’t know whether seed crops are harvested mechanically, but if they are, this is likely as slow maturing, non fibrous plants will be actively selected against.

    If you can be bothered to collect the small pods, only a couple of days old and store them in a plastic box in the fridge until you accumulate enough, I’ve found them to be quite good eating.

  2. harvested my first crop of asparragus peas yesterday and they were DELICIOUS, had them lighltly boiled with lemon juice and salt.
    if anything they taste more of artichokes tan peas or asparragus

  3. animalmd

    Just bought a pack of T & M Asparagus Peas. Will remain open minded until we have actually tasted them following picking at the right age. It seems to me that perhaps they are greatly underrated – friends of ours grew them and were astonished how tasty they were.

  4. Farming News

    umm….so I have just got my seeds and was wondering about best place to plant them and came across this blog…..will give them ago anyway!

  5. Kay Dekker

    I think you must have been letting the pods get too old before picking them. When I’ve grown this veg, I’ve picked the pods when they’re about 3-4 cm long, and they’ve been tender and tasty.

  6. When I read this I was sorry for my little plants! they looked so attractive. However I kept faith and grew them on. We found they were delicious! Not like asparagus or peas but a new kind of bean. We cooked them with french beans and they were a great addition.

  7. Nick Lee

    How strange to see so much hatred for these lovely little things – my wife and I grew them for the first time this year and we think they’re actually quite nice. Ok, they don’t really taste much like peas or asparagus, or indeed much at all, but they have a lovely texture, look pretty on the plate, have nice flowers and crop prolifically – in Yorkshire at least.

    You do have to cook them, because they’re horrible raw – I think ‘astringent’ is the word. And you have to eat them at an inch long – any longer and they go a bit woody.

    They’ve been around for donkeys years too, so maybe we’re not the only ones who think they’re alright! But judging by all these comments, maybe we are!

    In defence of the Asparagus Pea!

  8. i totally agree! they are vile. i looked at them today and was wondering if it was me that had done something wrong. obviously not according to all the previous comments. the next time i go to the allotment i am going to pull them up and put them in the compost bin. never, never again will i grow them – a total waste of time, effort and space. where asparagus and pea comes into the equation i will never know 🙁

  9. sheila astley

    Wish I’d read these comments BEFORE tasting these horrible little devils They are disgusting, tried one raw and OMG couldn’t even keep it in my mouth it was dreadful. Agree with all other comments it’s a complete travisty to associate them with asparagus or pea they in no way, resemble either

  10. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rocky

    I think that we are very lucky that in the UK. We can grow such tasty beans. we are having a bumper runner bean year and are already freezing them for the winter despite eating piles of them most days!

    I would never grow asparagus peas again…

    Hi Antoniahk

    Thanks for that 🙂

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