Carrs Pasties’ famous black peas are back on the menu.

Carrs wrote on Facebook: “You know autumn has officially arrived when black peas are back! They'll be available in all our shops from October 1. Anyone else been waiting all year for these?”

Yes, Carrs Pasties. Yes, we have.

The Bolton bakers also posted the news on their Twitter and Instagram channels.


On Instagram they said: "Black peas are back and we couldn't be happier about it!"

Fans expressed their delight in the comments below the post.

For the uninitiated, black peas, also called parched peas or dapple peas, are cooked purple podded peas.

They are a traditional Lancashire dish served often, with malt vinegar, on or around Bonfire Night.

The dish is popular in Bury, Preston, Rochdale, Oldham, Wigan, Bolton, Tyldesley and Heywood.

The dried peas are soaked overnight and simmered to produce a type of mushy pea.


How to make your own black peas – by Bolton chef Nick Cullen

To anyone living outside the magical realm of Lancashire, black peas sound both mysterious and questionable. Why black peas never made it past the county borders I don’t know - but I always think it’s rather nice to have a local delicacy, even if it doesn’t sound like a culinary delight.

When I was young boy the local ice cream van swapped cold treats for hot snacks in autumn, dishing out steaming ladles-full of black peas into white polystyrene cups to all the children in the neighbourhood. We bought them for a few pence and craved them to warm our cold hands as well as satisfy our stomachs.

From then on nostalgia, and a genuine love of this traditional snack, always sees me cooking up a few big pans of black peas each Bonfire Night.

Making black peas couldn’t be simpler, just make sure you wash and soak them well before cooking. They need to be simmered for a couple of hours at least - you’ll know they’re done when you recognise the thick ‘gravy’ starting to envelop them.

This recipe is a heartier version of the traditional Bonfire Night treat and is a great dish to make if you’re having a party.

Cooking a ham shank or hock in the pan with the peas gives the dish a lovely rich and meaty flavour and the saltiness of the ham adds the seasoning. Serve with a generous splash of vinegar and a chunk of fresh bread. Alternatively, if you’d rather make the traditional version, just omit the ham.

The quantity of peas in this recipe makes a decent amount for a party (depending on how big the portions are) so just divide or multiply to suit. Black peas can be found in abundance on Bolton Market at this time of year.

Bonfire Night Black Peas with Ham

1kg black peas

1 ham shank


Malt vinegar to serve

Wash the peas thoroughly before placing into a large pan. Cover with cold water and allow to soak for six hours or overnight.

After the peas have been soaked, wash and drain. Place the ham shank in the pan and cover with water. Boil for 10 minutes to reduce some of the saltiness before draining and returning to the pan.

Add the peas to the pan with the ham shank. Completely cover everything with cold water and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for two to two-and-a-half hours, until the peas are tender and have started to break down and the ham is cooked through. (It will be necessary to add more water during cooking so keep an eye on the pan and top up the liquid if the pan starts to look a little dry).

In the final 15 minutes of cooking allow the water to reduce enough so that the peas absorb the liquid and a thick gravy forms.

Remove the ham from the pan and tear off the meat. Add the chunks of ham back into the peas and gently stir to combine before serving. As always, best eaten outdoors….