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Do you remember the Pease Porridge Hot nursery rhyme?

Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold.

Pease porridge in the pot, nine days old.

Some like it hot. Some like it cold.

Some like it in the pot, nine days old.

-children’s nursery rhyme

Apparently, this is a real food that people eat, even today! I shouldn’t be surprised by this fact, but I am.

pease porridge on a plate with ham and bread
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I do not recall where I saw it referenced, but it may have been one of the things the Pilgrims ate on the Mayflower. There is a recipe for pease porridge in the Plimouth Plantation New England Cookery Book by Malabar Hornblower along with several other foods eaten by the early settlers in Plymouth. If you wanted to recreate a more traditional early Thanksgiving meal you should check it out.

What is pease porridge?

What was once more of a stew has evolved into what is called pease pudding. The Culinary Ginger has a recipe for pease pudding and explains that it is more of a paste, similar to hummus, that is often served on a ham sandwich or alongside a meat dish.

I imagine it to be similar to split pea soup, but thicker.

Pease Porridge Song and Clapping Game

Originally a nursery rhyme, Pease Porridge Hot is also a clapping game that kids can play. Want a refresher? Watch this video (but be prepared to have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day!)

Or if you’re feeling coordinated and ready for a challenge, you can try this slightly more complicated clapping rhythm.

Have you ever eaten pease porridge? What about split pea soup?


visit mayflower in plymouth and imagine life aboard the ship
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Want to read more about life aboard the Mayflower?

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