black eyed bean

[English] plural black eyed beans

The black eyed bean or pea is a variety of cowpea, the seed of the yard long bean. Small, cream-coloured and creamy-flavoured roundish beans with a black scar or hilum, a line where they are joined to the pod. This is described as an "eye". Black eyed peas are thought to have been brought to the United States with the African slave trade and were originally used for fodder. They are used in the southern United States with rice and are indispensable in Hoppin' John. In Nigeria they are used to make accra, or bean cakes, a dish also found in the Caribbean. In the United Kingdom this describes a slightly different bean, Vigna catjang.

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