Fresh peas are sweetish, and should be cooked by boiling in water with a little salt; when old they lose water, become very dry, and require prolonged steeping so as to soften them. When old they lose their colour, and copper is sometimes added as a preservative, and cases of copper-poisoning have been ascribed to this source. Garden peas are sometimes served up in an immature state, with the pods included, as "haricots rus".

Dried peas are met with in two forms, the split yellow pea and the dried whole green pea. Split peas are chiefly used to make pea soup; or are ground into pea flour or pease meal, from which pease brose and pease pudding are made. Pease brose is made from the fine flour of the white pea by forming it into a mass merely by the addition of boilingwater and a little salt It is eaten with milk or butter, and is a good nourishing article of diet specially suitable for persons of a costive habit. Pease pudding is made by soaking a quart of peas in water for twelve hours, throwing away those then found floating on the top. The peas are then drained into a pudding cloth, put into cold water, and boiled for two to three hours till tender. They are then rubbed through a wire sieve. About one and a half to two ounces of butter with some pepper and salt are then added to the mass, which is then tied up again in a cloth dusted with flour, and boiled for another hour, when it is ready for serving. This is a cheap food for persons of robust digestion, but the cost of cooking adds materially to the price.