Zipper Peas . . . done right

Floridian Peas, Cooked Dixie Style

I wrote about this variety of pea some years ago, back when I told you about the four types of 'southern peas' and I gave you my recipe with the article back then, which is much the same way as I cook peas still today. Maybe a change here or there; both are southern as Dixie.

As mentioned, the zipper cream, invented by a Florida agronomist in 1972, is actually a cross between a crowder pea and a cream pea and the variety gets its name from the fact that the peas can be whisked from their hull in a zipping motion with the force from a finger. Now isn't that something? Most all peas are easier in shelling if you wait a day after picking allowing them to dry out a little and letting them detach from the shell. Do not over cook this type of cream pea as it will break down and become a creamy bisque before no time flat. These are called a creamer pea for a reason; meant to burst on your palate with a lovely, creamy texture and with the help of a good recipe, a southerly, flavorful explosion of good taste .... if I may say so myself.

Now, here is how I love to cook these little gems .... Enjoy!

My Recipe for Zipper Peas

6 to 8 servings

1 strip of bacon, chopped
1 nice size slice smoked ham, chopped
1 large sweet (vidalia) onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 to 4 cups of fresh shelled peas (or frozen), washed
4 cups of rich chicken stock
1 bay leaf or 1/4 teaspoon ground bay leaf powder
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground thyme -optional

Cook the bacon in a medium saucepan until crisp. Add onion, garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes until the onions begins to brown. Combine all other ingredients in the pan and bring to a rapid boil. Turn heat to low, taste seasonings adjusting if needed and gently simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until fork tender.

Note: I pretty much always have a few pieces of ham left over after the many holidays we enjoy doing a ham - so I pretty much always have a freezer bag of ham. If you do not, be sure to buy a good brand of smoked ham, slice it or chop it up, divide it into portions and freeze it for recipes just like this one.


  1. I have to admit, I've never heard of zipper peas or cream peas, but they do sound awfully nice. I'll have to look out for them!

  2. These sound delicious Drick really hope your doing well seems like ages since we connected.. miss you lots!


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