Soup Pea, Retrija (Organic)

Pisum sativum. Latvian Grey Soup. 110 days.

Large seeded, speckled brown Latvian soup pea. For those of us accustomed to green peas this unique grey variety is delightful. We were only aware of green soup peas until we traveled to Latvia in 2006 and discovered these. Then we learned that there are many varieties of speckled peas from all over the world. Retrija has beautiful, pink/red flowers on vigorous plants that grow 4-5′ tall. Peas are good for shelling and eating fresh, or for threshing once pods are dry. In Latvia, these peas are traditionally picked dry and cooked whole in soup, often with diced onion in pork stew for the Christmas season. Latvian Grey Peas, which Retrija is a quintessential example, are listed on both the Slow Food Ark of Taste, and the European Protected Designations of Origin (PDO). We were given this pea during our original Seed Ambassadors Project trip by Dr. Livija Zarina of the State Priekuli Plant Breeding Institute in Priekuli, Latvia. The Institute has one of the longest running scientific experiments on farming with organic practices in Europe.

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