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These Carlins - also known as Black Badgers, Pigeon Peas, Grey Peas - are one of Britain's best kept secrets: seriously, we CAN'T BELIEVE we haven't been eating this British pulse sooner. But we're about to spill the beans on everything you need to know about this British beauty. 

Britain's Best-Kept Secret

If you're new here, HI!, let's revert back to our mission: to make people OBSESSED with beans by giving them the BEST of beans. And we feel pretty confident that we've accomplished this with the mainstream varieties: our The Queen Chickpea and The Queen Butter Bean in other words "the populars", (or the cheerleaders + the jocks, if ya like).

But when it comes to British pulses, unfortunately, these guys aren't as well known. So it would've been a BIG risk trying to make everyone bean-obsessed by launching a bean that no one knew anything about! SO... after we launched the Carlins in September last year we've had AMAZING feedback from you bean champs! You've embraced the unknown pulse and welcomed her with open arms. 

Why Bold Bean Carlin Beans

Our partners, Hodmedod's, are an incredible company, championing the pulses + grains that have been growing on British soil for centuries but have long been forgotten by our food culture. And so these guys were top of our list to partner with to produce the best of British-grown beans and bring them to you The Bold Bean, BEST TASTING, way. This first harvest are grown in Cambridgeshire and are cooked The Bold Bean way, to bring you THE MOST DELICIOUS BEANS OUT THERE. We could persuade you to try these beans through taste alone, but rest assured by choosing this pulse, you + we are also 🧑‍🌾supporting British farmers 🌱supporting British soils 🔒enhancing our food security here in the UK

Behind the History

Yup. These peas go WAY back Historian heads on 🤓 Carlins were cultivated by monks in the middle ages - where pulses formed a major part of their diet (HIGH-FIVE). They grow to about 6 feet high and are poppin' with purple + white blossoms (oo la la) - The rich purple colour is also an indication of the high level of anti-oxidant anthocyanins in the peas. Watch them in action here

They've been known to make a bold show during lent in the North East of England, Yorkshire + Lancashire - so much so that Passion Sunday (the 5th Sunday in Lent) become known as CARLIN SUNDAY - with farting Monday following straight after, seriously!! 💨💨💨 LOL.They are most popularly served asParched Peas in Lancashire, simply boiled up and eaten with vinegar and salt. And they just don't go by "The Carlin" -  elsewhere they are known as brown badgers, black peas, grey peas, maple pease or pigeon peas. They are TECHNICALLY peas, being a variety of the common edible pea, Pisum sativum.

Are they tasty? Are they good for us?

THEY'RE BOLD BEANS. OF COURSE THEY'RE TASTY. No but seriously, these Carlin's HAVE BLOWN OUR MINDS. They're nutty + creamy, with tender skins but a satisfying bite. Like with our entire range, we encourage you to eat these peas out of the jar too - they produce a bean stock that tastes almost like a very VERY good gravy.For centuries, they've been popular as street food. A quick and easy outdoor snack for festivals, fairgrounds + markets, where they're commonly boiled, slathered in salt + vinegar and served in a brown paper bag. Check out this recipe if you fancy giving it a go!

Carlin peas are PACKED with plant based protein. They boast a remarkable nutritional profile, these peas are naturally low in fat, while providing over 23g per 100g of both protein + fiber! 

Particularly high in manganesemolybdenum vitamin B—primarily B1—they have a unique deep red/blue hue in both the skin and flesh - down to anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a group of antioxidants found in red, blue, and purple fruits and veggies. A diet rich in these compounds may:

. Prevent inflammation🩸

. Protect against type 2 diabetes 🍬

. Protect against certain cancers 🦠

. Benefit your memory and overall brain health 🧠

These plant compounds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, making them the focus of research related to cardiovascular health, diabetes management, + eye care related health issues. Pretty impressive for a tasty little pea!

A British Substitution to Chickpeas?

Imagine if a chickpea + a lentil had a baby... Their nutty flavour, sorta like a chestnut or puy lentil, and firm texture work well in any recipe that calls for chickpeas, particularly when blitzing them into a silky dip or crisping them up in a salad. 

They lend themselves to ultra comfort dishes - particularly those rich, brown foods that we often associate with British cooking (think your shepherds pies, your cassoulets). We love them simmered in afrench onion baketopped with a bubbling gruyere cheese crust, in a hearty sausage + carlin pea stew, or even crisped up in the oven to toss into salads!