So called due to their use as a staple ingredient of US Navy rations in the 19th Century they are very popular both here in the UK and in the USA (where they are also called Pea Beans).

They feature mainly as Baked Beans but they are also found in soups and even in pies. Very few are grown in the UK because to obtain the quality required for human consumption early harvesting varieties are needed and also a dry autumn. With very low yields only growers along the South coast of England have been tempted to grow these on a commercial basis.