Thursday, 10 January 2013

Move Over Imported Chickpeas And Haricot Beans, Great British Beans And Peas Are Back!

Delicious, nutritious and used in many fantastic Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African and Indian dishes, British-grown dried beans and peas are very high in protein and fibre, low in sodium, and have a low glycemic index. What is more, buying Great British beans and peas is a great way to support British farmers and sustainable food.

New Norfolk business, Hodmedod, has just launched a range of split and whole dried fava beans, and dried Kabuki peas - now available to buy online at and in selected retailers. More products will follow in early 2013, including the elusive black badger peas.

The split fava beans are versatile and easy to cook - they don't need soaking and will cook from dry in 20 to 30 minutes and are perfect for soups, stews, curries, dal and dips. They feature in many traditional dishes around the world, such as Moroccan besara, Egyptian falafels and Indian dal.

Once a staple part of our diet in Britain, our home-grown dried beans and peas became a forgotten ingredient as increasing wealth meant we ate more meat and dairy products in the 18th and 19th centuries, replacing pulses as the main source of protein. While we still produce over half a million tonnes of fava beans in the UK every year, they are either fed to livestock or exported to the Middle East and North Africa.

Hodmedod’s founders, Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson, are bringing these delicious but neglected British-grown ingredients back into the limelight. Trials of sample packs in Norwich, and tastings at the recent Aldeburgh Food & Drink Festival, demonstrated a public appetite for these forgotten British ingredients. After Hodmedod’s Nick Saltmarsh appeared with Gary Rhodes on the Great British Food Revival, they were inundated with online orders.

The beautifully illustrated packs each contain an inspiring recipe booklet, with recipes for the initial range of products.

Hodemedod's Great British Beans and Pea Facts

• British fava beans are brand new to the domestic market

• All products grown on farms in the UK

• High protein (25%) fibre (28%)

• High carbohydrate (28%) content but low glycemic index (GI)

• Low fat, low sodium

• Perfect for gluten free falafel

• No added preservatives

• Important in British farming as part of crop rotation – a leguminous nitrogen-fixing crop providing a break from cereal and oilseed pests – but until now entirely sold for export or livestock feed

International Recipes

Egyptian falafel - surprisingly easy a traditional Arab snack or mezze

Ful Medames - national dish of Egypt, a spicy stew traditionally eaten for breakfast

Moroccan besara - served as a soup or dip

Italian mashed beans and greens - a traditional Puglian dish

Vaal Dal - an easy Indian dal


Split dried fava beans in 500g retail cartons (with recipe booklet) - retail price £1.90

Also available in 12.5kg catering packs - available to order online with free delivery at £18 (whole fava beans), £18.50 (Kabuki peas), £19.50 (split fava beans)

Available from early 2013

500g retail cartons of whole dried fava beans - retail price £1.80

500g retail cartons of whole dried Kabuki peas - retail price £1.80

500g retail cartons of whole dried black badgers - retail price £2.45

Further product launches in 2013 - offering more convenient, ready-to-eat products:

Cooked whole fava beans (400g can)

British baked beans (400g can)

British dal (400g can)

British ful medames (400g can)

About Hodmedods

Hodmedod Ltd is a new business, founded by Nick Saltmarsh, Josiah Meldrum and William Hudson in 2012 and based on the Norfolk-Suffolk border. We believe in good, sustainable and local food.

Hodemedod sources produce from British farms. We’re particularly interested in searching out less well-known foods, like the fava bean, which we still grow and export but haven’t eaten in Britain for centuries.

You can find them online at

Twitter @hodmedods



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