Black Peas

Neither black nor peas, these are actually dark brown maple peas which are cooked until they go soft. They may be cooked a little longer so that individual peas break down. Traditionally served with a meat and potato pie, or on their own with salt and a dash of vinegar. Delicious!

Also known as blanket-lifters (You'll find out why!) and as "parched peas".


This dish belongs to the Manchester area.


1lb maple peas
Clean the peas and then soak overnight in a solution of bicarbonate of soda. Rinse and then place in a large pan filled with water. Bring to the boil and simmer for two or three hours until the peas are soft, topping up the water if necessary.

Serve in their 'juice' with salt and vinegar to taste.

Do not add the vinegar until ready to serve as it will cause the juice to coagulate.


The maple seeds can be found occasionally in Manchester supermarkets, and I'm told they may be purchased from pet food shops and fishing bait suppliers. The only outlet I am aware of serving them cooked is the excellent Stalybridge Station Buffet.