Every year, just before New Years, transplants from the USA, me included, start scrambling for those New Years Day black eyed peas!
I just happen to have nearly half a bag left of some dried black eyed peas that a friend brought me. (Thank You Kathy)
So anyway, when others, extranjeros/foreigners/expats start asking about black eyed peas I direct them to espelon. Espelon, xpelon, vigna unguiculata, cowpeas, or black eyed peas, whatever you call them, they are all the same! Period Regardless, every year when I recommend these as an alternative to a plastic bag that is clearly labeled Black Eyed Peas I start hearing from a bunch who contend they are not the same at all.
Well, really, they are, IF you’ve ever eaten FRESH black eyed peas, which few of us ever have. We’ve almost always had dried, frozen, or canned turned in to our New Years Day dish of choice.
Honestly, they are the same! Just different, fresh are softer, more tender than cooked dried peas. oh, and with fresh ones there is a thin skin that detaches and creates a little different consistency in your New Years dish.
This is how you will see espelon displayed at the mercado here in Merida!
You can buy the bag already shelled, or the bundle and shell them yourself.
And just fyi, even though black eyed peas are grown mostly for the edible bean, the leaves and fresh pods can also be eaten.
Even if you don’t want to eat them they make great feed for livestock.