"Latvijas lielie pelēkie zirņi" or to simply put it the Latvian grey peas have been enlisted in the European Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) list.

Though not particularly grey looking after served on the table the pea has a marbled pattern that gives it a greyish colouration. While the boiled pea has a soft, floury consistency and a mild yet specific flavour which comes from the skin. 

One has to mention the long tradition of cultivating this particular pea in Latvia which dates back to the 18th century. Dried Latvian grey peas are distinguished from other peas by their especially large, coarse seeds and their good culinary qualities, such as a relatively short boiling time. 

Latvians have been pea eaters for centuries. Peas, barley and beans long constituted diet staples, and they remained important up until the introduction of the potato in the 19th century. Nowadays grey peas with bacon is referred to as a very classical dish of Latvian cuisine, during the cold season and are almost mandatory for the Christmas table. 

The grey peas will be the fourth foodstuff to be joining the PDO list next to other national Latvian foodstuffs as Sklandrausis (the Latvian vegetable tart), the Latvian rye-bread and the lamprey from Carnikava. 

 

Source: Official journal of the EU

 

Photo: Andris Tone
Latvian Institute, 04.11.2015, Food, Culture