|Hodmedod's Organic Carlin Peas have been awarded the prestigious Soil Association BOOM award for best pantry product. We're overjoyed that these wonderful but little-known traditional British peas have been recognised for their deliciously nutty flavour.|
When we first discovered Carlin Peas in 2012 we couldn't believe that such a superb traditional British crop wasn't better known and more widely eaten. We immediately decided to add them to our range of British-grown bean and peas, then comprising just three other products - split and whole fava beans, and marrowfat peas.
Carlin Peas have a distinctively nutty flavour and a good firm texture, which makes them an ideal substitute for chickpeas in any recipe. They're delicious in salads, curries, cassoulets and casseroles, as well as making great hummus and falafel. Carlins are still play an important role in traditional dishes around England, particularly Lancashire's Parched Peas and the Black Country's Grey Peas and Bacon. They deserve a place in every pantry!
Back in 2012 we were only able to source Carlin Peas from a handful of specialist growers - none of them organic - producing them for export markets, primarily Japan. Sold under the dialect name "Black Badgers" our Carlin Peas soon found favour in appreciative kitchens, including River Cottage and Bristol's Cafe Kino.
When we started working with organic farmer Mark Lea, of Green Acres Farm in Shropshire, we asked him to try growing a first crop of organic Carlins. They're a beautiful but often challenging crop to grow but Mark produced a fantastic harvest of excellent Organic Carlin Peas.
Organic Carlin Peas Ripening in the Field at Green Acres Farm
We're overjoyed that these wonderful peas have now been recognised in the prestigious Soil Association BOOM Awards, winning not just the award for best store cupboard item but coming through as overall winner of the entire pantry category.
Josiah and Joe travelled up to London yesterday for the award ceremony at Borough Market Hall. After a slap-up feast including Organic Carlin Peas (of course!) and celebrating our customer Unicorn Grocery's award for best independent retailer, they were astonished and delighted to be called up to accept the award for our Carlin Peas.
Josiah and Joe with our BOOM Award and friends from Unicorn Grocery
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A few years ago we were looking for a sweetner for some granola recipes, something UK produced and minimally processed. When our apple syrup order from Liberty Fields arrived we knew we were onto something special - we quickly added them to our short list of brilliant Guest Producers
We've launched ten pulses and grains from British farms as part of Holland & Barrett's transformation of their food range, available in their stores across the UK. It's a fantastic opportunity to make British-grown fava beans, carlin peas and quinoa, along with other pulses and cereals, available more widely and to support more diverse farming.
Down a warren of country lanes, not far from the Tamar Valley in Cornwall, is Julie Bailey's orchard Lower Trelabe, where she grows historic local varieties of apple and makes her delicious Apple Natural apple shreds, traditional fruit leathers that contain only the natural plant sugars.