Pea Balls

© Zutini


  • 300 grams of boiled peas
  • 150 gr fried bacon with onions
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • Hemp seeds


Grind the pasty peas and fried bacon with onions in a meat grinder.

Mix ground peas, bacon and chopped tomatoes in a bowl. Add cream to make the mass more flexible.

Then make a small balls, which you can wrap in hemp. Ancient Latvians used hemp seeds. They crunch pleasantly between the teeth, but some people don’t like it. Well, peeled hemp can be perfectly used for this purpose. They are sweet, soft, like nuts and they make the balls look great. If you can’t find them you can use sesame or crushed nuts.

And that is all! A perfect old recipe to make a great hearty snack.

Useful tip: Want to make the pea balls more tasty? Break away from the old recipe and add dried tomatoes.

Story behind the recipe

Have you ever made pea balls? Good old Latvian dishes are good ideas for eating peas in a tastier way.

It is very important for Latvians to honor the traditions. As Latvians live according to the Solar calendar, every holiday in the year has an important ritual meaning. Just like the food that is brought to the table. Because holiday meals for Latvians have never been just simple eating. 

At Christmas, Latvians must put at least 12 dishes on the table and eat at least 9 times. 12 dishes symbolize prosperity and a good harvest in the coming year, and frequent eating means wealth. Have a rich year and let the eater become rich himself.

Christmas is the time when peas are eaten more often but let’s be honest – in some houses they are served on the table only on Christmas Eve to respect the old traditions.

But since there are roasts and sauerkraut, sausages, potatoes, bread, honey, pies and many other goodies on the Christmas table, simple peas with bacon often stay unnoticed . 

Therefore, it is time to give peas a better chance to be eaten!

About Rūta BeiroteLV

My name is Rūta Beirote and I represent, together with my sister Santa, the farm and family of the Zutini house. Together with our parents and children we run a small farm, where we grow cereals, tomatoes and also legumes – beans and peas.

I am a member of Slow Food Straupe, so the traditions and ideas of Slow Food are respected on our farm as well.

Zutini is the biggest bean farm, so besides the popular varieties, we also grow old and protectable varieties of beans and peas. We keep a collection of beans collected from all over Latvia, which allows us to present at least 200 varieties at the moment and show how colourful a country can be.

At the same time we collect interesting beans and peas from all over the world, to show the population of legumes for inter-elements. Like a small bean museum.

So, with the legumes, we work on two social projects:

1. Education of children
Through legumes we teach biodiversity, modification of natural varieties, cultivation and seed saving. Schools and kindergartens can also get interesting beans from us for their playgrounds and lessons.

2. Exchange of knowledge between older people
Giving and receiving. We travel by car and visit senior citizens’ associations to look for old knowledge, varieties and also to cook together. We share new ideas on how to prepare legumes outside the traditional methods.

But the knowledge must be used, which is why we also work as seed keepers and conservators. We encourage people to grow beans - as food and as flowers.

And we invite people to eat beans, giving cooking tips and many traditional and modern recipes on our homepage and FB page.

Read more »

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