The smallest of the dried white beans, the others being navy bean, great northern bean and (in order of ascending size). Pea beans are very popular in the Northeast and are the first choice for boston baked beans. Some producers and packagers do not differentiate between pea beans and navy beans, so packages identified as white beans may contain both. Pea beans are also used in soups. They require long, slow cooking. See also beans.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.