What are mushy peas?

Photo of fish and chips and mushy peas
Photo credit: Charles Haynes

This article was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 24 November 2021.

GB Mag Survival Service creative - 2021

Mushy peas is a bright green dish that livens up our plates of fish and chips. This dish is a big favourite in the north of England and the Midlands. Peas are a staple food in Britain and have been grown here for roughly 10,000 years. After eating peas for so long, it’s no wonder that Brits have had to get creative with how they prepare them.

The dish is made from marrowfat peas. These are mature peas that have been left to dry out.

To make mushy peas, marrowfat peas are soaked overnight in water. Once they’re nice and soft, they’re seasoned with a bit of sugar and salt and simmered in water. The end result is a thick, mushy, bright green paste.

This is the most traditional way to enjoy this humble little dish, but some people like to add extra flavours like mint or vinegar.

Mushy peas have been eaten in the UK for more than 60 years, either as snacks or part of a larger meal. They are very easy to make. If you need a quick and cheap way to prepare vegetables then you can’t get much simpler than this!

You may also like to read

The history of fish and chips

11 must-try regional food delicacies in the UK

What is Marmite?