Vigna inguiculata is a bean, not a pea, of African origin, brought by slaves across the Atlantic and a feature of post-slave food from northeast Brazil to the Carolinas. Its pealike seeds can be eaten whole or milled as flour. In some places in the U.S. South, black-eyed peas are called cowpeas or field peas.
© 2007 Raymond Sokolov. All rights reserved.