PEA SOUP AND PANCAKES
NOT JUST FOR THURSDAYS
In Sweden “Pea soup on Thursdays” is an old and loved tradition. It’s the only day when it's absolutely ok to have dessert for dinner. Pancakes with cream and jam are very often a big part of it. Some even bring out the punch for an extra festive meal. In Sweden, it is believed that pea soup has been around since the 13th century, but perhaps the soup was consumed long before that, as peas were already eaten by the Vikings.
Pea soup with pork was even one of author August Strindberg's absolute favourite dishes. Gudamat (God food) he called it.
Pea soup is a relatively common dish, especially in the military and schools. Varieties of pea soup are found almost all over the world and have been eaten since ancient times. It is also said that King Erik XIV was poisoned by arsenic in pea soup in 1577. It has indeed been established that he died of arsenic poisoning, but there is no definite evidence that the arsenic was actually in the pea soup, but the legend lives on.
The fact that the dish is primarily served on Thursdays is believed to have its origins in a Catholic tradition of not eating meat on Fridays, which meant that during Thursdays people had the opportunity to eat a larger amount as compensation for Friday's absence.
Pea soup is a wonderful food tradition with many benefits. It’s a delicious, cheap and climate-smart food and it’s made even more delicious with the addition of yummy Swedish pancakes. When and why the pancake became a side dish to have with pea soup is lost to history. We are very happy that this happened though because the combination of pea soup and pancakes is so delicious, too good to just have on Thursdays if you ask us.