Pigeon Peas Festival 2019: The versatility of pigeon peas
5 years ago, community members of Covigne Road, Diego Martin opened their doors to the rest of Trinidad and Tobago when they launched the first ever Pigeon Peas festival. This food festival has grown since 2015 and continues to provide an outlet for members of the community to display their skills, creativity and the versatility of pigeon peas.
Ms. Myrtle Joseph, of the Upper Cemetery Street Residents Association (UCSRA) spoke proudly of the festival and the importance of pigeon peas to members of the community. She mentioned that pigeon peas has a history in Diego Martin which started with our ancestors who inhabited the area and grew the versatile legume. Because Pigeon Peas doesn’t require a lot of attention, it was easy for persons to grow them, thus providing persons with agricultural and economic opportunities.
But what makes pigeon peas so special and where did they originate from?
Pigeon pease are indigenous to India and were domesticated 4,000 years ago. In 2,000 BC they were grown in East Africa and soon after were taken to the America.
Pigeon peas are chock full of potassium which is helpful in reducing blood pressure. With 21 grams of protein in 100 grams of pigeon peas, pigeon peas are filling and can help develop our muscles, cells and bones.
Pigeon peas wine, lasagna, muffins, ice cream, soap, roti, bread, doubles, protein drinks, kurma and so many other pigeon peas products were available for sale at the festival. The creativity of the community members continues to impress patrons year after year..
Last year I tasted quite a few baked goods but this year my favourite dish was the peaspourie which is just dhalpourie with ground up pigeon peas instead of dhal.
You can look forward to the Pigeon Peas festival every year. Make sure to come with an empty stomach to try the various food items, a market bag for your peas and lots of cash to support the vendors.