About Hodmedod


Hodmedod sources produce from British farms to supply the best ingredients and delicious foods. We’re particularly interested in searching out less well-known foods, like the fava bean – grown in Britain since the Iron Age but now almost forgotten – and black badger peas.

Our products


We sell a growing range of British pulses – split and whole fava beans – and peas – Kabuki marrowfat, black badger, yellow, large blue, split green and split yellow. Our pulses are available in kitchen packs and catering sacks.

In January 2014 we launched our first canned beansBaked British Beans, Vaal Dhal, Fava Beans in Water.

Later in 2014 we’ll be launching more new products, including roasted fava beans, red haricot beans and other varieties of British-grown beans. Watch this space!

Buy Hodmedod’s Great British beans and peas
Our products are now available from our online shop and in discerning outlets across the country.
Trade sales
We’re listed with several wholesale distributors and can also supply wholesale customers direct – please contact us for more information or to set up an account.

What’s a hodmedod?

Hodmedod is an East Anglia dialect word. It mostly means snail in Suffolk but can also refer to the curls in a girl’s hair or an ammonite. However, Norfolk speakers generally mean hedgehog by hodmedod, calling a snail a dodman – “thass not a hodmedod, thass a dodman!”

An old Suffolk boy recently told us the secret behind these many meanings – the true meaning of hodmedod is simply something round or curled up, hence snails, hedgehogs, curls, ammonites and even conceivably beans and peas.

We like the word as part of our almost forgotten heritage, a bit like the fava bean or black badger peas.

Hodmedod history

Hodmedod Ltd was founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson in 2012 and is based on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. We share a belief in good, sustainable and local food, and have worked together on sustainable and local food projects over many years through our partnership Provenance and for the regional NGO East Anglia Food Link.

The Great British Beans trial project

We founded Hodmedod following the successful Great British Beans trial project to stimulate and assess demand for indigenous pulses. This project was run by Provenance for East Anglia Food Link as part of its Norwich Resilient Food Project, which was developed with Transition Norwich.

If you’d like to know more about us or our products, please do get in touch.

33 Responses to “About Hodmedod”

  1. Carol Musgrove | February 12, 2015 at 10:34 pm #

    Is the quinoa you sell organic?

    • Nick Saltmarsh | February 13, 2015 at 7:35 am #

      Hi Carol. Our quinoa is unsprayed but not organic. There hasn’t been any organic production of quinoa in the UK yet but we’re hoping to have a trial crop of organic quinoa grown this year. Watch this space! Nick

  2. Carol Hunter | August 27, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    Hello Josiah, Nick and William,

    this is such a heartening venture! I’d like to have a go at growing some fava beans. Are these overwintering beans or best sown in spring? If being saved/dried, would it be better to grow them as one might a second crop of broad beans sowing in May? I hope you don’t mind me growing. Lastly, re they not broad beans but nearer the old field beans like “Wizard field beans” offered by the Real Seed Company? Many thanks, Carol

    • Nick Saltmarsh | September 5, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi Carol

      Thanks for your enthusiasm about our business and our beans.

      We certainly don’t object to you growing fava beans. Ours are sold as food rather than seed and although they will grow you’re probably much better off buying seed, such as Wizard field beans. Fava beans are simply what field beans are generally called when sold as food. They’re the same species as broad beans but smaller (ie not so broad) and selected to be best harvested fully matured and dry rather than immature and green. There are both spring and winter varieties available – ours are sown in the spring. Sowing in May would probably be a little on the late side as the beans need to fully ripen in time for harvest before the weather gets to damp in the autumn.

      Good luck with the growing!

      Best wishes, Nick

      • D R HURLEY | November 24, 2014 at 10:51 pm #

        Hi Nick,

        Please clarify what your fava beans are, as I understand that Fava bean is the American term for the British Broad Bean Vicia faba. Whereas the smaller variety Ful Medames are Lathyrus sativus commonly used for the national dishes of Egypt for example, ref Jun 2013 exchange below.
        Many thanks,

        • Nick Saltmarsh | December 11, 2014 at 10:58 am #

          Hi DR

          Our fava beans are fully matured and dried Vicia faba beans – they’re the same species as the fresh green beans known in Britain as broad beans but are smaller seeded varieties that are generally grown on a field scale and left to fully ripen and dry before harvest. This is the general usage of the name fava bean on this side of the Atlantic; as you say, fresh broad beans are known as fava beans in the US.

          Fava beans are widely used to make ful medames in Egypt – in fact, a large proportion of the beans grown in the UK are exported to Egypt for use in ful medames as well as Egyptian falafels and other dishes. We’re not aware of wide use of Lathyrus sativus in Egypt and would be interested to hear more about that.

          Best wishes, Nick

  3. Caroline | May 21, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    I bought some Essex grown quinoa in Mother Earth recently (because I had mentioned reading an article about quinoa in Bolivia becoming so expensive for local people due to Western demand, so she pointed me to British grown), and completely by chance I have come across the source of this unlikely product. Unlikely in the sense that I did not know that quinoa COULD be grown in this country!

    Anyway, very pleased to find your company, and will be making a purchase next payday.

  4. Gordon Rice | May 9, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Hodnedods and Dumbledores.

    Hallo, although I haven’t lived there for a very long time, I hail from Essex and still have lots of ‘real’ Essex relatives that still live in the outer reaches.

    My Dad, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins all called snails Hodnedods and bumble-bees were Dumbledores.

    They also used to talk of the Treacle Mines at Tudwick and warned me about ‘they silly Sufficks’ and ‘they folk from Narfick’ who reputedly had two heads.

    Long may the old tales persist!

  5. Amy | April 2, 2014 at 9:45 pm #

    I love to buy british grown produce as much as possible but I was wondering if all your produce is organic? Thanks

    • Nick Saltmarsh | April 21, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

      Hi Amy. All our beans, peas and grains are British-grown and always will be. Not all our products are organic but we’re working on it, developing organic production wherever possible – some of our products simply aren’t currently produced organically in the UK. Sorry for our delay responding to your message. Nick

  6. Martine | March 20, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    One very down to earth question before I try your beans and pulses.

    Do they help with bowel movements, please?

    • Nick Saltmarsh | March 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm #

      We’re no experts on the medical side of our pulses but would expect the high fibre content (up to 30%) to be beneficial in that respect.

      This appears to be a more authoritative source of advice, saying:

      Fibre is important in regulating how your bowel works. There are two types of fibre; insoluble fibre and soluble fibre:

      Insoluble fibre speeds up bowel motions. It’s useful for treating constipation but avoid it if you have soft, frequent bowel motions or leakage. Insoluble fibre is found in bran, seeds and foods such as bread or cereals labelled as multigrain, wholegrain or wholemeal.
      Soluble fibre can help to firm up and slow down bowel motions, so it may help to reduce diarrhoea or soft stools. It’s found in oats, porridge, bananas, and in apples and pears with their skin removed (the skin contains insoluble fibre).
      Pulses such as peas, beans and lentils are also high in soluble fibre, but pulses stimulate the bowel so are not recommended for people with diarrhoea or soft stools.

      Your dietitian, specialist nurse, continence adviser or bowel specialist will advise you on the type of fibre you need and how much you should have.

  7. Susan Evans | November 6, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    I like the packaging. Last night I made your recipe for chile beans, using my recent purchase of split fava beans. ( I buy in bulk from Suma.). It was so delicious! I am not a vegetarian but I don’t like meat and I use lots of pulses, which are worthy but a bit tasteless. Need lots of garlic, herbs and so on. Your fava beans and black badgers are in a class apart.

    Best wishes,
    Susan Evans

    • Nick Saltmarsh | November 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks Susan! We’re over the moon to hear how much you like our beans and peas.

  8. Carolyn | October 7, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    Heard you on devon radio on Saturday. Very interested in beans pulses and eating less meat.
    And the name hodmedod.
    Going to look for products in local. Can you suggest a local shop or must i go to st. Austell ?

    • Nick Saltmarsh | October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am #

      Hi Carolyn. Thanks very much for your interest. We supply through several national distributors so our British pulses are finding their way into a growing range of wholefood shops but we don’t always know where! If your local shop doesn’t stock them please ask them too. Or you can always buy from our website.

  9. Lucy | August 27, 2013 at 10:55 am #

    Just discovered your products in a wholefood shop in St Austell during a holiday. Thank you for the British pulses. I love the name, My family calls snails Hodnedods. We must have changed the sound slightly down here in Essex. My Grandad used to sing a rhyme as a child when a snail was found – Hodnedod, hodnedod pull out your eyes, if you don’t I’ll kill yer. How pleasant!

    • Nick Saltmarsh | August 27, 2013 at 11:25 am #

      Thanks for your appreciation of our British pulses and for the delightful rhyme! We’re intrigued to hear that Essex snails are hodnedods.

  10. Christine Dodman | August 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    I have just received some of your fava beans in my flavourly box and am looking forward to making a curry with them! I read with interest the first post here. My surname is Dodman which I believe comes from the word Hodmedod!

    • Nick Saltmarsh | August 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

      We’re chuffed to have a comment from a fellow Dodman / Hodmedod! Like Hodman and Hodmandod they’re both variants on East Anglian dialect word for hedgehog, snail or even ammonite, hair curls or anything else that’s round. Hope you enjoy your curry too.

  11. Belinda Hopkins | June 4, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    I tore out the article from the Guardian 3 months ago and just re-found it. So excited to be ordering fava beans from the UK. We were even thinking of trying to grow our own – having been puzzled for years that UK farmers export all our own abroad! But the amount we’ll eat make this rather ambitious.

    We’ve ordered a huge sack and I bet they won’t last long! We love Ful Medames and experimenting with all sorts of bean and lentil recipes – so thank you!

    And great to see you come from Norfolk. We were both at UEA and lived in and around Norwich for many years.

    • Nick Saltmarsh | June 4, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Thanks so much for your enthusiasm about our beans. We were also puzzled that fava beans have long been widely grown in the UK but recently barely eaten here at all – it’s exciting to be doing something to change that and bring British fava beans back to British bean lovers. Enjoy your ful medames and please do let us know about any other recipes you come up with.

  12. roz brown | February 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    SO pleased to learn about the fava bean becoming available from UK sources! Ever since a trip to Egypt I have wished we could get them from the UK, having seen them in profusion in fields here. Now, what would also be good, is to source a supply of UK produced fava flour so we can make authentic falafel as well. Any chance of that? And are any of your suppliers organic?

    • Josiah | February 15, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

      Delighted we could help Roz! In fact, and amazingly, a lot of the beans eaten in Egypt are actually grown here.

      You don’t actually need fava flour to make falafels – our dried split beans work very well (though a food processor really helps): http://hodmedods.co.uk/recipes/egyptian-falafels/ One of our customers is actually experimenting with producing her own flour – we’ll let you know if she’s successful.

      There’s a bit more about falafels over on our Facebook page with a link to some great recipes: http://www.facebook.com/hodmedods/posts/303237926446475

      Our beans are not organic (yet), but we’re working hard on it – in fact in the last couple of days we’ve had a bit of a break through and hope to be offering organic beans later this year.

      A lack of confidence in the market combined with the difficulties associated with cleaning small batches and the risks of pests and disease all put organic farmers off. The first step for us is demonstrating demand – and we’re doing that; enquires like yours support us when we’re talking to organic farmers.

      Thanks and best wishes,


  13. margaret | February 3, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    Fascinated by your story in the Guardian “Cook”. Fava beans are referred to in a book of bean recipes I have owned for 30 years or more but the way the article is written implies that you were ignorant of broad beans and their finest dish of broad beans and bacon. They are of course grown in most if not all vegetable gardens in this country and sold in every greengrocers and supermarket in the land.

    A very irritating article. Broad beans used to appear in school dinners in the 1940s if not earlier.

    • josiah Meldrum | February 3, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      Hi Margaret,

      Thanks for your comment – broad beans and bacon is a classic recipe, delicious! However it’s generally made with fresh broad beans and we’re trying to reintroduce the dried bean (in part we’re calling them ‘fava’ to help with the differentiation). Perhaps the Guardian article wasn’t clear enough about that.

      The dried beans – and certainly the ones grown and dried in the UK – tend to be smaller varieties than those grown to be eaten fresh and aren’t often grown in gardens or on allotments but instead in large acreages on farms. They’ve been an important part of the British agricultural system since the Iron Age (we’re not claiming to have discovered them!) and, up until four or five hundred years ago, were a staple part of the diet (along with peas). They faded from popularity and became stigmatised as a food of the poor as Britain became wealthier and meat and dairy became a more important and common part of the diet – it was at that time we began eating them green for the first time – a habit that has stuck.

      There’s more here: http://hodmedods.co.uk/products/all-about-fava-beans/ and over the next few months we’ll be adding more information about the history and use of the beans in this country.

      Best wishes,


  14. Lynne @josordoni | February 2, 2013 at 10:25 am #

    Hi Nick, love your split favas, but there are only the two of us, so it is tricky to buy small quantities without the high postage costs, but would you think of putting together a multipack of a selection of each of the types of bean? That would give me lots to play with, but not kick the price up so high.

    What do you think?

    • josiah Meldrum | February 2, 2013 at 11:03 am #

      Hi Lynne, we’re planning to do exactly that – we’ve been waiting until the Black Badgers are ready as that’ll give us a multi-pack with 3 each of the 4 varieties we do in 500g boxes. But until then (and it won’t be long) you’re welcome to make up your own multipack from those we do have – for example 5 x split fava, 2 x whole fava and 2 x kabuki would take you over the free delivery threshold…


      • Lynne @josordoni | February 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

        Oh thank you very much indeed!! I will wait for the Black Badgers and look forward to the multipack. Great news!

  15. mary cundy | January 19, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Why the name Hodmedod with a picture of a hedgehog beside it.?My grandfather called snails hodmedods….

    • Nick Saltmarsh | January 19, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

      It all depends if you’re in Norfolk (where it means hedgehog) or Suffolk (snail)! Though our logo is a hedgehog there’s a snail hidden in the illustrations on all our boxes.

      (And apparently if you’re in Berkshire – or Wikipedia – a hodmedod is a scarecrow…)

    • Patience | May 18, 2014 at 9:51 am #


      I’m from a long-time mid-Norfolk family and I grew up knowing snails as ‘hodmedods’ too, so I was also confused by the picture of the hedgehog, which sent me searching to end up here, via Naturally Good Foods newsletter.


  1. - Blok Knives - April 22, 2013

    […] my last visit I came across hodmedod’s fava beans. I’m a huge sucker for nice packaging and I have to admit that’s what drew […]

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