Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Peas and Fava Beans, Let The Shucking Begin

Fig.1. Bushels of fresh peas and fava beans at Birri. Buy a bushel, get together with some family and friends, and shuck them. Peas and favas freeze very well.

The sense of touch is not something we usually attribute to the food experience: Nose and mouth, we smell our food and taste our food. Our utensils create a barrier between our fingers and our food, therefore denying a tactile, sensory experience; luckily, there are foods that can only be accessed with our hands. I believe these foods can help us to reconnect with what keeps us alive and counteract the disconnect created by many of the processed and prepared foods that are killing us.

Quebec pods are now available at the Jean Talon Market and a perfect way for you to get ‘in touch’ with your food. Fresh peas and fava beans require only hands and fingers to be enjoyed.

The general belief that peas grow already frozen in a plastic bag and delivered to grocery stores by the Jolly Green Giant is not accurate. Peas grow in pods. Peel away the pod and the small, beautiful peas hang on to the outer shell by a green umbilical vine.

There’s something so rewarding about eating fresh peas. Maybe it’s the little bit of effort required or the fact that they taste so good, whatever the appeal, it’s the perfect example of how nature provides us with everything we need. It’s hard not to look at fresh peas and fava beans and think that they just might be one of those small miracles that are often overlooked.

It will always taste better when you can touch it first. Be gone with forks and spoons; grab with your hands and pick with your fingers. The next time you have friends over for a Barbeque, put some peas in front of them, give them a piece of bread, and tell them they’re looking at their appetizers.