[Sca-cooks] peas vs. beans

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Oct 21 16:05:00 PDT 2011

I'm far removed from my references at the moment, but I would suggest taking 
a look in Pliny's Natural Histories for a basic take on beans and peas in 
Antiquity.  That being said, the terms "pea" and "bean" are not 
scientifically precise and may through usage apply to various seeds that are 
not taxonomically peas or beans.  The black-eyed pea, for example, is called 
a pea in English, but is placed with beans in Italian, and being a member of 
genus Vigna is truly neither a pea nor a bean but is related to both.

For differentiation in most of period, I believe you will find that most of 
the peas available were of the sort that divide in two producing split peas, 
while the beans retained their unity.

If you want to duck the entire issue, divide the collection of messages by 
age and label them "legumes-1-msg", "legumes-2-msg", etc.


> Ranvaig commented:
> <<< I checked the index of Apicus for "bean" and "torta" and don't see
> anything like this.    The notes say that one word now associated
> with beans, actually meant peas then.  >>>
> So what determines whether something is considered a bean and when it  is 
> considered a pea? Now and in period?
> At one time, this caused me to put all messages about beans or peas  into 
> the same Florilegium file. Then because of the size the file was  getting, 
> I started trying to file them in beans-msg or peas-msg. But  I've been 
> uncertain on where to put many messages, so there's a lot of  material I 
> have yet to get online.
> Thanks,
>   Stefan

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