Mississippi Silver Hull Bean

Ark of taste
Back to the archive >

The Mississippi Silver Hull bean (Vigna unguiculata) is also known as the Crowder pea. It is intimately connected with the culture of the American South. Cowpeas originated in the Niger River Basin of West Africa and were then brought to America during colonial times, at which point they became a staple food across the southeastern US. The Mississippi Silver Hull is uniquely adapted to grown well in hot, humid environments and thrives in the southern United States and mid-Atlantic regions.   Pods average six inches in length and are silver colored, occasionally streaked with rose. The seeds are black, speckled, and brown or brown-eyed. The seeds are crowded in the pod and tend to be globular in shape. They are considered a climbing bush variety and can reach 90 – 120 cm in height. They are easy to shell and resistant to fusarium wilt and root knot nematodes.   The Mississippi Silver Hull beans are large and brown with a meaty taste and a hearty texture. They can be boiled, frozen, canned or dried. Additionally green seeds can be roasted like peanuts and scorched seeds can be used as a coffee substitute. They are similar in flavor and texture to black eye peas having a rich hearty flavor. Their skin is thinner than that of black eyed peas, and they have pleasant, somewhat “greener” flavor than their earthy counterparts, especially appreciated when cooked fresh.   Over the past 25 years, production of cowpeas of all varieties has declined in the United States from 750,000 acres to just a few thousand, with some percentage of this crop variety grown intended for livestock feed. While the Mississippi Silver Hull bean is not currently extinct, it is quite rare, as over 96% of the acreage of field peas is devoted to just two varieties (and specifically dominated by the black-eyed pea variety).

Back to the archive >


StateUnited States


Other info