The Cowpea is neither a standard pea nor a bean, as it belongs to a subtropical group of legumes characterized by upright bushes that bear beautiful lilac or white blossoms. Also called Crowder Peas, Blackeyed Peas, Field Peas, Stock Peas and Southern Peas, Cowpeas were introduced to the Southern states from Northen Africa during the period of slave trade. Looked down on by the Southern aristocracy, they were christened with the name "cowpea" because they were thought fit only for animal fodder, or slave food. Today they are grown, eaten and enjoyed with a relish and enthusiasm that is surprising to those not familiar with the South.
Ancient Mediterraneans were familiar with them, including the Romans, who ate them young in the pod like a snap bean. The Venetians still eat them this way today.
High in protein and rich in essential amino acids, they are very nutritious when served with grains, making them an excellent alternative to meat for vegetarians.
Cowpeas ideally like hot summers, do not need a lot of water and fix a lot of nitrogen in the soil, making it an ideal rotational crop before heirloom corn. They will thrive in a broad range of conditions, and some varieties have shorter maturity dates for those with shorter summers.
Approx 60 seeds per pack.