Canned Peas

By Matthew Yglesias


What’s the deal with canned peas? Frozen peas are like fresh peas except more convenient and slightly less flavorful. That’s a tradeoff we can believe in. Canned peas are like frozen peas except they’re disgusting. What’s the point? Admittedly, decades ago freezers didn’t exist so everything had to be either fresh or canned. But those days are long gone. Who’s buying this garbage? Is the entire market sustained by people concerned about surviving a nuclear war? And why do much-more-reasonable canned beans and canned tomatoes of the world not rise up in rebellion against the bad name canned peas are giving to canned goods everywhere?


11 responses to “Canned Peas

  1. Canned peas are absolutely disgusting. I buy frozen because they’re quick and easy to make. Canned green beans and corn are fine, so go figure.

  2. British people and American anglophiles. That’s who’s buying the canned peas. They’re a pub staple over there. Disgusting, yes. But on the grand scale of English food atrocities, they don’t actually rank all that high.

  3. Old people, dogs, and babies.

  4. Thisiscmt, canned corn isn’t a bad as canned peas, but it’s still inferior to frozen corn. Same with green beans.

  5. I guess I belong in the old people canned pea group. I really don’t like frozen peas.

  6. Couldn’t agree more on peas. I have an odd affection for canned green beans. They have that same metalic mushy taste that spaghettios have. I realize it’s not objectively “good,” but it’s so nostalgic and I love it. And kind of hate frozen green beans.

  7. I definitely agree about the peas… but I have a strange love for canned green beans. Sometimes I just really want those mushy green beans that can only be found in a can. (And I just noticed the comment above this says the same thing… canned green beans are in!)

  8. Cooking for multiple hours with some form of pig fat is the optimal way to prepare green beans.

  9. Yeah, canned peas are an offense against God and everything else that’s right and true. Fresh peas (preferably picked the day you cook them) are best, but having spent countless childhood and adolescent summer evenings shelling peas for my parents to freeze, as God is my witness I will never shell peas (or limas) again, so frozen it is, and they’re okay.

    Canned green or yellow beans? Meh. I’m more than willing to cut off the ends of fresh beans when they’re available. However, when I have one of my summer cravings for bean salad, for which canned green, yellow, and kidney beans and garbanzos are indispensible. Yes, one could blanch fresh beans, and maybe even make a decent vinaigrette, but the one and only true bean salad uses canned beans, onion and green pepper, cider vinegar, sugar, and salad oil (I suppose I’m dating myself when I use my Mom’s term for corn/canola oil) of some kind.

  10. Frozen corn, KCinDC? I don’t know. The frozen stuff always seems bland and chewy to me. Maybe I’m just a sucker for the extra sugar in the canned stuff, though.

  11. Due to the existence of South America, I can get fresh beans, peas and corn all year.

    Of course, I struggle with my conscience. What I’m NOT willing to do is to eat canned. Yuck.

    Frozen is a genuine viable option, but the bastards don’t tell me if it’s at least north american corn, peas or beans.

    Tossing frozen peas into any cheese-based pasta dish has been a habit of mine for decades, from MacnCheese w/peas to chicken fettuccine with peas and asparagus, its a win and a half.

    Stir frys are always better with sugar peas or snap peas, but you have to swallow hard and accept they burned some serious carbon getting here.

    Ascetic or hedonistic? Who’s to know? What’s a mother to do?


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