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Some say the word "pea" came from Sanskrit; however, most concur that the Latin pisum, resembling the older Greek pisos or pison, is the true origin of the word.The Anglo-Saxon word became pise or pisu, and later in English, "pease".
This attention demonstrates the importance of peas in the Roman diet.Nutritious and portable, peas were a staple of the voyageurs' diet, supplying the power behind the muscle and brawn of early exploration and trade in Canada.Fresh garden peas were not common until the 18th century.The French became known for their exceptional tiny peas called , a name still used today.Some areas of France became so well known for their peas that the names of towns such as Saint-Germain and Clamart were attached to the names of recipes incorporating the little peas.When peas reached France around 800, Charlemagne had them planted in his domains.
During the Middle Ages, dried peas became a staple food for European peasants.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, by 1600 the last two letters were dropped because people believed the word was plural, forming the singular "pea" that we know today.
As most peas are a cool-weather crop, historians believe the main centre of pea development was middle Asia, including northwest India and Afghanistan.
The advent of frozen vegetables in the 1920s and 1930s provided a new advantage for peas.
They could be harvested and frozen almost immediately, preventing their sugars from turning to starch.
"Some ladies, even after having supped at the Royal Table, and well supped too, returning to their own homes, at the risk of suffering from indigestion, will again eat peas before going to bed.