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Mushy processed peas

The grocery store near my house has a small selection of British foods, located at the end of the ethnic foods aisle. It terrifies and sickens me. I’ll give you a tour of the highlights.

Creamed rice and canned custard, folks. That sounds pretty great.

I really enjoy the translation sticker for us American types. It seems to be saying,”Don’t worry, ‘salad cream’ is not nearly as horrifying as you’re picturing. Just imagine ‘dressing’.”

I have heard of clotted cream. It sounds vile, yes, but my main question to the Brits is, “What’s with this obsession about cream and creamed things?”

Oh good, something not creamed. It’s impossible to make out in this picture, but these gummy candies are marked with names of wines: Port, Burgundy, etc. Way to ruin candy, guys.

All of these things were tempting to buy, and I may revisit this part of the store for a later post, but I was stopped dead in my tracks upon viewing the next choice:

Mushy processed peas. Batchelors brand, no less. Check out that splat! You know it’s going to be mushy. Oh boy!

Ideal for Microwaves. That’s good because I have one of those.

That’s quite a claim. We’ll just see about that.

Upon opening it, I am greeted with what looks like a soupy, green paste. It smells like peas and salt water.

Oh no… I was very wrong. This is not a soup at all. I was picturing runny, soupy, much more liquid. This… well this is unnerving to say the least.

You really need to get close up to appreciate the little bubbles trapped in the mucousy membrane.

While attempting to mash it down, it grabbed hold of my spoon. If you look closely, you will see that the spoon is not resting on the side of the bowl, but is instead adhered firmly to the alien life-form. I’m pretty sure the peas are trying to eat the spoon.

Another closeup for texture, post-mashing.

After heating, the structural properties became more evident. It’s more like mashed potatoes than I originally realized. I became entranced while stirring it. Something… happened…

Dammit! I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important.

Enough playing around. Time for the eating. Smells alright.

Texture is fine. Like warm Play-Doh.

It’s OK! It’s not terrible! Everybody cheer: Hip, Hip, Hoor-Adequacy!

Like the texture implied, it tastes like mashed potatoes with pea flavoring, which is pretty much the definition of inoffensive.

Then I ate the rest. Because it was $2.30, and I’m poor.

The worst part was the aftertaste. A couple hours later, and I still taste peas. So many peas.


Check out more “Adventures in eating.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. kitri permalink
    November 20, 2010 7:10 pm

    you talked about the clotted cream, but what about the curried “beanz?” does that ‘z’ imply they’re not real beans? what’s going on there?

    • November 20, 2010 8:00 pm

      I did not notice that the first time, and when I went back to look, I noticed something even worse.
      That clotted cream’s tamper-evident seal has been broken! Double gross!

  2. kitri permalink
    November 20, 2010 7:12 pm

    also, have you read the British candy part of Gravity’s Rainbow? wine gums are only the beginning.

  3. Tiffany permalink
    November 20, 2010 7:28 pm

    That is truly disgusting. I hate peas. But the label design is priceless!

    What are the ingredients?

    • November 20, 2010 7:37 pm

      Oh yeah, I forgot.

      Peas, Water, Salt, Sugar, Artificial Coloring (without that it would be gray)

  4. Jen permalink
    November 20, 2010 8:03 pm

    LOL…no really I’m laughing OUT LOUD. Canned peas are disgusting enough but mashed. That takes disgusting to a new level. You sir are braver than I.

  5. Deborah Hepworth permalink
    November 21, 2010 4:52 pm

    This is my favorite….by far!! I was absolutely rolling with laughter after the English shopping adventure, BUT when you “poured” the lovely peas into the bowl and they just sit there….OMG, I can’t stop the tears!! I could hear the plop noise and visualize your face! And, then the bubbles…too funny. Thank you for this wonderfully descriptive pictorial!

  6. Mark Hepworth permalink
    November 22, 2010 2:15 pm

    It feels as if I had a “close encounter” with the Mashed peas.
    I like your mind.

  7. Heather Cox (Ether!) permalink
    November 30, 2010 7:10 pm

    Dude. That reminds me of the alien dinner slop that used to come alive and eat Calvin’s spoon!!

    • November 30, 2010 7:15 pm

      Totally. It looks to me like a prop food from some typical bad high school cafeteria movie scene.

  8. December 12, 2010 8:54 pm

    Sorry, but mushy peas rule.

    Not that I’m brave enough to eat that ._.

  9. Diane Horne permalink
    January 9, 2011 12:48 pm

    i love mushy peas especially the chip shop style….

    • January 9, 2011 1:21 pm

      I assumed I’d get a comment, sooner or later, from the UK. I stand by my conclusion, however. It’s just weird.

      • June 22, 2014 10:56 pm

        And from Berkeley, CA….. Where I actually stumbled on this page while trying to find a recipe to make my own mushy processed peas because my local grocery store has removed “British” from it’s “Ethnic” section !

        Mushy peas and faggots for dinner! (As soon as I find that recipe…)


  10. Shesasuperstaryea permalink
    March 9, 2011 6:44 pm

    Thanks for the laugh, much needed and soooo good. You actually made me cry.

  11. March 10, 2011 3:41 am

    Batchelors are the best mushy peas and Brits are mad about cream in any shape or form, but you can’t beat Birds Eye garden peas. Why are these cans in the ‘ethnic section’ anyway???

  12. July 10, 2011 10:53 am

    OMG lol.
    Yeah you are kinda doing it wrong. Mushy peas are supposed to be eaten with fish and chips as a dip thing. Like this:

    Clotted cream (although normally fresh) is an amazing indulgent product. Usually served with hot scones and jam in up market hotel “cream teas” or with strawberries. See:

    Try custard warmed up over apple pie 🙂

  13. April 23, 2012 6:38 pm

    I once made a turnup and leek soup I lator
    realised was British – it recomended I use
    a food processor. The result was turnip and
    leek sudds. You lucked out with that one. I
    whent to the Uk and was impressed by how
    litteral they were. What they would call “That
    goop you put on salad.” We woud call “Ranch
    Dressing.” Which it was, more or less.

  14. April 28, 2012 7:36 pm

    The open can reminded me of:
    (giving way my age range :D)

  15. emma permalink
    October 18, 2012 1:58 pm

    You’re the cure for flu. Have pretty much coughed my lungs clear in laughter

  16. English Malc permalink
    February 1, 2013 6:28 am

    Coming from citizens of a country that can devote 3 – 4 shelves of a whole supermarket aisle to “salad dressing” I find your amusement over a simple British staple such as mushy peas to be ………………..well, amusing!

  17. Katie dobbins permalink
    March 4, 2014 11:33 am

    Hey it’s not bad one of my favorites, it’s good with fish and chips but if you want to mix things up a little , you can buy it from a fish and chip shop in batter, it’s called a pea fritter. It’s yummy
    Yours sincerely a Brit

  18. October 10, 2015 3:26 am

    Warm pork pie mushy peas and mint sauce yummy

  19. February 21, 2017 10:18 am

    Mushy peas need to be eaten with our fish & chips, preferably with some vinegar or mint sauce on them! Fairs over here have whole stalls that sell just bowls of mushy peas with mint sauce! But they are cheap over here …Under 30p in some shops. 🙂

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